Mr Uche Orji, the Managing Director, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) says most Nigerians visit cancer centres when the disease has progressed to stage four.
Orji said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of a national health dialogue on Thursday in Abuja.
NAN reports that the dialogue was organised by Premium Times, an online news outlet.
According to Orji, the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) cancer centre is one of the investments of NSIA.
Orji urged Nigerians to ensure regular check-ups, adding that it was the only way the disease could be detected early.
According to him, at stage four, the disease is deemed to be metastatic.
He described metastatic cancer as a disease that spreads from one place to other parts of the body.
Orji said that early detection of cancer would greatly increase the chances of successful treatment in the country.
“There are two major components of early detection of cancer.
“They include education to promote early diagnosis and screening,’’ he said.
Orji said that recognising possible warning signs of the disease and taking prompt action could lead to early diagnosis.
He, therefore, called on health practitioners in Nigeria to increase the awareness of possible warning signs of cancer.
The NSIA said that the agency would continue to work toward ensuring quality care in the treatment of cancer in the country.
He explained that the centre was the largest outpatient cancer treatment facility in West Africa, boasting of a Halcyon Linear Accelerator that was second to none on the continent.
Orji said that NSIA would ensure that the centre was maintained, while also ensuring that LUTH benefitted financially, especially in the training of its staff.
He said that the NSIA focus on healthcare was in the areas of need in tertiary facilities which had led to medical tourism to Europe, East Asia and the Middle East countries.
The NSIA boss listed the areas of need to include Oncology, Nephrology, Cardiology and Orthopedics.
According to him, the NSIA is trying to design an investment strategy to improve accessibility and availability of pharmaceuticals in the country.