Group laments poor cancer management in Nigeria


President of the Association of Radiation and Clinical Oncologists of Nigeria, Dr. Nwamaka Lasebikan has expressed concern over the rise in cancer incidences and its poor management in the country.

Lasebikan stated this in a statement she issued after the conclusion of a one-day symposium on Friday in Enugu themed “Optimising the Standard of Care for Breast Cancer in Nigeria”.

The president said the symposium sought the way forward to cancer care in Nigeria.

She also expresses concern over the slow implementation of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines in Nigeria.

She said that the NCCN guideline was recently adopted by the Federal Ministry of Health as the standard of care for cancer management in Nigeria.

She, however, expressed worry over the rising incidence of cancer and its poor outcome even with treatment attributing it, in part, to poor standardisation of evidence-based care.

“There is the need to close the care gap and generally improve both the quality of life and the clinical outcomes in patients with breast cancer.

“This can be achieved through widespread implementation of the harmonised guideline to ensure that breast cancer care is optimal and standardised across Nigeria and Africa as a whole,’’ she said.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, represented by Mr. Uchechukwu Nwokwu, Associate Director, National Cancer Control Program, re-emphasised the government’s commitment to fighting cancer.

“Government remains committed to providing adequate access to standardised cancer care in the country through programmes such as the ongoing Cancer Health Funds.

“The Federal Government’s adoption of the NCCN Harmonised Guidelines and the need for healthcare workers to abide by it remains key.,” Ehanire said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the symposium featured several lectures from seasoned experts in oncology.

NAN also reports that topics such as standardising breast cancer care through guideline adherence, and some predictive and prognostic biomarkers in decision-making for breast cancer were highlighted.

Stakeholders in attendance at the symposium were; the representatives of the Minister of Health, the Enugu State Commissioner for Health, the Nigerian Medical Association Chief Medical Director of UNTH, and the Medical Women Association of Nigeria.

The West African College of Surgeons among other professors and Oncology consultants were also present.



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