Over 100,000 new cancer cases recorded yearly in Nigeria, says expert
As part of efforts to boost cancer treatment in the country, an expert in Radiotheraphy and Oncology, Prof. Aderemi Tajudeen Ajekigbe yesterday advocated the allocation of 51 percent of the gross income of all members of the executive and legislature at Federal, State and Local Government levels to the cause.
Ajekigbe, who is the Head of Department of Radiotheraphy and Oncology, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and the College of Medicine, University of Lagos (UNILAG) spoke at the Convocation Lecture of The Polytechnic, Ibadan.
The university don lamented that there were about two million cancer cases recorded in Nigeria with over 100,000 new cases recorded annually.
He lamented the drain it costs on the nation’s resources through just about five percent of the cancer patients (10,000) that had resources to go abroad where they pay between $10,000- $15,000 per patient for a three to five weeks course of radiotherapy.
“This translates to about $100,000,000 (a hundred million dollars) per annum foreign exchange drain, yet, Chemotherapy cost is about 5-10 times the cost of radiotherapy”, he said.
Speaking on the topic, ‘Stepping Out Into The World, Potential Well-Being, Change in Life Style And Cancer Education’, he explained that “it is not just the local growth of tumour cells that makes them so lethal, it is their ability to spread directly through invasion and by metastases to other side of the body”
“It is the spread that provides the plethora of clinical problems that arise, just as no two individuals are exactly the same way; although, we can make some broad generalisation from clinical experience”, he stated further.
The expert disclosed that from molecular biology, “cancer is now recognised as a genetic disease where mutations in genes, inherited or acquired result in the transition from a normal to a malignant growth pattern”.