By Rotimi Ojomoyela
An Oncologist at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, Dr. Abidemi Omonisi, has said except something urgent is done, no fewer than 15 million people across the world stand the risk of dying from cancer diseases in 2020.
Omonisi warned further that high incidences are expected in Africa if concerted efforts are not taken to halt the spread.
He lamented that little knowledge about cancers and the essence of the campaign against the killer disease, especially in the rural areas is slowing down the fight against the scourge.
The medical expert spoke in Ado Ekiti on Saturday at a Breast and Cervical awareness programme and the launching of Ekiti Cancer Registry since established in 2013.
At the programme attended by the Commissioners for Health, Dr Mojisola Yahaya Kolade, Women Affairs, Mojisola Fafure, the first lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi distributed Breast Examination Kits to women for early detection of cancer.
Delivering a lecture entitled:: ‘Burden of Cancer in Ekiti’, Dr. Omonisi added that cancer is not a new disease, describing it as an agelong illness that had existed for over 2000 years.
He said anatomical analysis on some carcasses that had existed for over 2000 years by experts showed that many of them died of cancers.
Omonisi, the Director, Ekiti State Cancer Registry said: “Cancer doesn’t come suddenly, but many of us are not observant of the warnings. If you check yourselves very well, you will get it and when you get it go for medical screening and get rid of it, rather than going to wrong places where your cases will be complicated”.
Omonisi added that “Cancers easily killed 80 per cent of sufferers because they are detected late, facilities for diagnosis very rare in Africa, but we are a little bit comfortable in Ekiti because that Adunni Olayinka cancer centre has taken care of that.
“Out of 53 countries in Africa, only 23 has facilities to treat cancers. Even some years ago, some patients used to travel from Nigeria to Ghana for treatments.
“Data from Cancer registry as established by the World Health Organisation shows that prostate cancer is the commonest cancer in male and breast in woman. Men too can suffer breast cancer, Ekiti has discovered seven breast cancer cases in men. The cancer cells in men are even more dangerous”.
Reeling out contributory factors causing the spread of the disease, Omonisi said:” Environment, genetic and multifactorial effects cause cancers to people. Soap and cream containing heavy metal like lead can also cause cancers.
“But local delicacies with high fibre contents can stem the spread of cancers. Fruits also consisting of antioxidant cancers as well as daily exercise”.
Urging the citizens to be circumspect of their lifestyles, Mrs Fayemi advised that people should abstain from harsh toning creams and soaps, saying this could be a veritable source of skin cancer.
“Don’t because of beauty destroy your life, be cautious about your lifestyle. Also be careful with the kind of family planning you adopt, because some drugs can be dangerous and cause cancer.
“Abstain from promiscuity, because some viruses can cause HIV/AIDS and cancers. We will do advocacy to ensure that stakeholders support our work”.
She said the government may adopt the constitution of the State Cancer control committee as recommended by Dr. Omonisi, describing it as crucial in the fight against the disease.