Cancer experts say cancer patient in Nigeria suffer great economic burden from diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.
According to the experts, this is the bane of the high mortality rate of cancer in the country.
This was the submission of the Radiographers Registration Board of Nigeria at the maiden cancer awareness summit held in Abuja.
According to the Global Cancer Observatory, Nigeria has one of the highest cancer mortality rates in the world, with approximately 4 out of 5 cases resulting in death.
Cancer is a disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in the body.
According to scientists, some risk factored responsible for cancer includes old age, personal or family history, tobacco smoking, obesity, excessive alcohol intake, human papillomavirus, HP virus and exposure to radiation.
The Registrar Radiographers Registration Board of Nigeria, Professor Mark Okeji said cancer had become a death penalty to most Nigerians due to the cost of treatment.
Profe. Okeji stressed that the rate of cancer had become worrisome despite the investment and interventions by the current administration and private organizations.
He therefore advised citizens to consciously take cancer preventive measures to lower the risk of getting the disease.
On the challenges of treating breast cancer which is one of the commonest cancers in the country, the President of the Association of Radio Therapist of Nigeria Mrs. Oluwanife Osungbesan listed late presentation, availability of cancer machines as well as funding.
She condemned the act of the government, Non-governmental organizations, NGOs, Civil Societies and individual for creating cancer awareness only on cancer awareness days.
She explained that Cancer awareness creation should be done on a regular basis to reduce the scourge of cancer in the country.
The Minister of State for Health, Mr Joseph Ekumankama spoke on the efforts of the government to address the rate of cancer to include expansion of access to radio therapy services in the country.
He said this however has been faced with manpower challenges.
Mr Ekumankama said the federal government would launch the Nigeria National cancer control plan from 2023-2027, to chart a way forward in addressing cancer challenges in the country.
Writing by Nancy AnikaEzie; Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu