Features  |  Health  

Experts recommend healthy lifestyle, regular screening to prevent cancer

By Oluwatosin Areo |   15 March 2018   |   3:39 am  

Medical experts have identified healthy lifestyle and regular screening as germane to cancer prevention and treatment.

THE Chief Executive Officer, Lakeshore Cancer Center, Prof. Chumy Nwogu said that screening ensure early detection, which would save the patient’s life.

Nwogu represented by the Head of Strategy, Development and Outreach, Lakeshore Cancer Care (LCC), Dr. Oge Ilugbene,during the cancer centre maiden health fair said unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, exposure to tobacco smoke or the harmful use of alcohol are some lifestyle that triggers the disease.

She said the health fair was to provide basic screening for common health issues at little or no cost to help individuals know their health status.

The health fair was organised by the cancer centre in collaboration with other healthcare providers, including PathCare, Eye Foundation, Dennis Ashley Wellness Clinic, Optimal Cancer Care, Euracare, Aquagem Dental Clinic, Tranquil and Quest, Bridge Clinic, Skipper Eye, Sleep Inc. and Centre for Advanced Specialty Surgery (CASS).

Ilugbene, who is also a Family Practitioner, said gathering healthcare providers would create more awareness on cancer prevention and clear misconceptions that people have about the disease.

“To provide free healthcare and enlighten our community, Lakeshore Cancer Centre decided to have a big fair that allows other health providers partner with us. This also provides people the opportunity to ask questions that bothers them, which we know would change the myths and misconceptions about cancer,” she said.

She added that the fair would be adopted regularly to provide holistic care, inspire healthy lifestyle and sensitise the public on cancer care.

In her words: “The benefit of exercise cannot be overemphasised, that is why we had the aerobic and yoga section. This fair would further remove the fear factor and get people to speak with medical person thereby proffering solutions if any health challenge is diagnosed.

“As healthcare providers, we know that information is relevant to stay healthy. We are able to screen for breast and cervical cancer, blood pressure checks, glucose and cholesterol blood tests, body composition, vision tests, dental check, mental health check, biometric, health feedback and identify at risk individuals.”

Although Nigerians are more aware, we still have a long way to go with cancer care, Co-founder of BRICON Foundation, Abigail Simon-Hart said.

“This is because we don’t have the facilities yet. Government should beef up medical infrastructure to address this issue. They should also introduce it to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to assist the indigent,” she stated.

The breast cancer survivor decried that cancer care is very expensive coupled with the stress to make ends meet, diet, lifestyle and lack of regular exercise.

Cancer Controller Advocate, Runcie Chidebe said the commonest cancer now are skin and colorectal cancer while cervical cancer in women, and prostrate and colorectal cancer in men.

“People are dying from preventable disease because of late presentation and ignorance,” he added.

In his words: “It is realised that many Nigerians don’t visit the hospital for regular check up until emergency arises. Early detection is germane to fight any disease because one should not wait till it gets complicated. Even after people receive periodic free screening, they don’t bother to check up after.”

On recommendations, Chidebe said government should make cancer screening mandatory and national.

“There is need for lifestyle change and government should make ultrasound affordable and assessable. Watch out vital signs and see the doctor. Get early treatment. Many people avoid check up because they feel that what you don’t can’t kill you but it is better for you know and avoid complicating issues as it progresses,” he stated.

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