Lakeshore Cancer Center formally kicks off operations in Nigeria
THE Lakeshore Cancer Center (LCC) has formally launched operations in Nigeria with the Ribbon Cutting ceremony in its state-of-the-art facility in Victoria Island, Lagos.
The Center is solely designed, by a team of global experts on surgical and radiation oncology, for high quality prevention and treatment of cancer.
Affiliated with Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in Buffalo, New York, United States of America (USA) –the oldest cancer center in the world, LCC has been offering skeletal services since July 2014. The RPCI provides training, education and clinical care oversight and research programs to the Center.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director at LCC, Dr. Chumy Nwogu noted that, cancer kills more people globally than malaria, HIV and Tuberculosis (TB) combined, and disproportionately impacts low to middle income countries like Nigeria. He explained that the 2012 data of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, stipulates 102,079 new cancer cases every year and 71,571 cancer deaths annually in Nigeria. “This is probably a marked under-estimation as cancer registration is really poor in Nigeria. Over 70 per cent of patients die despite the fact that we do not capture all of them – over 20 percent of people with cancer are still not captured. This is because many patients usually seek alternative treatments, traditional healers or prayer houses. These numbers are predicted to rise dramatically over the next few years,” Dr. Nwogu disclosed.
The Medical Director, who is a highly respected Cancer Epidemiologist and Thoracic Surgical Oncologist, further stated that, “the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that one third of cancers can be prevented, one third cured and one third effectively palliated; hence the great need for education, screening and early detection.”
He said that, LCC is committed to providing cancer patients with tools for early detection, diagnosis and consultation with excellent oncologists without having to travel away from loved ones at home.
The Center also launched the Foundation for Cancer Care in West Africa (FCCWA) to provide cancer care for the less privileged in Nigeria and across West Africa. “The treatment for cancer is capital intensive and long term, so most individuals cannot sustain the cost. The Foundation is therefore focused on fostering collaboration between government agencies, corporate organizations, various medical facilities and advocacy groups. Philanthropic donations are always welcome and much appreciated for the care of cancer in West Africa,” Dr. Nwogu explained.
Also speaking at the event, the Associate Professor of Oncology at the RPCI, Dr. Tracey O’Connor said that early screening and detection are indispensable in the prevention and management of cancer.
“Three cancers – breast, cervical and prostate claim the highest number of lives in Nigeria. But all of them, if brought to medical attention early in their development are highly curable. So basically testing and early detection can hugely reduce fatalities,” she stated.
Dr. O’Connor counseled Nigerians to go for screening. She recommended Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for young girls of 11 and 12 years. “The vaccine is to prevent the human papillomavirus which cause most cervical cancers.”
The wife of the Lagos State Commissioner for Transport, Mrs. Abiodun Opeifa, who represented the First Lady, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola commended LCC for establishing “this great cancer facility in Lagos State. This will sure increase awareness about cancer prevention and treatment; and drastically reduce incidences of preventable cancer deaths.”
The LCC provides diagnostic imaging services, mammography, pap smear, laboratory services, public education awareness, tissue biopsis, outpatient operative procedures chemotherapy services, and palliative care. The facility also provides minor surgery, oncology consultation, cancer treatment planning as well as outpatient pharmacy.