By Moses Nosike

Ellen Adeyinka Anjorin family had an ugly experience in 2019 when human efforts to save their wife and mother from cancer of the colon did not yield desired result. So, Ellen Adeyinka Anjorin Cancer Foundation was formed in her honour to serve as a living memorial.

Based on various experiences they had during the course of her sickness and treatment that prompted the establishment of this foundation. It was also discovered that financial implications, treatment pattern and education are paramount issues of concern in cancer management.

However, in an attempt to give back to the society and as well create the necessary awareness on cancer prevention, also detecting early symptoms of the disease for proper treatment at the early stage in order to save the life of patients, the Foundation and its collaborators had concluded its Second Annual Memorial Cancer Awareness Lecture, with them: Cancer Treatment with Special Reference To Chemotherapy – Pros And Cons.

Experts from the medical profession who specialised in cancer treatment were chosen to do justice to the topic: Coping with the side effects of chemotherapy and outlook.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Omolola Salako, Consultant, Clinical Oncologist/Lecturer College of Medicine, University of Lagos, also Founder, Sebeccly Cancer Care and Onocopadi Tech Limited said during her lecture that EAACF was set up with the sole aim of increasing awareness, and every year they hold annual memorial lecture in honour of their mother and wife who passed on from cancer few years ago.

“Today, the lecture was on cancer treatment with the focus on Chemotherapy, the pros and cons. I delivered the lecture explaining that chemotherapy is effective treatment option in a lot of cancers and people who are diagnosed with cancer should be treated in specialist centres, cancer centres that have the facilities and trained manpower to deliver such treatment. In such a setting, the outcome or quality of life is better”.

According to Dr. Omolola,Chemotherapy remains one of the effective treatment modalities even though we know it has a lot of side effect and this has caused a lot of fear in the mind of people. Again, in the hands of cancer specialist, this fear and side effect can be greatly reduced.

Across the country today, there many cancer patients who are receiving chemotherapy and they will survive their diseases simply because they have received chemotherapy and of course other good things like receiving healing from God, eating a balanced diet, having the support of family, their ability to afford their treatment and factors that determine if a patient would survive. And of course the stage at which they present”.

In addition, the founder, Ellen Adeyinka Anjorin Cancer Foundation, Olusegun Anjorin, who is a medical researcher  said, “I started this initiative because of what happened when my wife was sick. In short, when she was receiving chemotherapy the situation became worse and we lost her.

Therefore, looking at the difficulties and challenges we experienced during that period, I felt there are still some things to be put in place. I felt that people need to be educated about cancer for prevention. We should educate people on how to live so that they will not have cancer, except those that will have cancer by genetic composition.

Continuing, Mr. Olusegun said that looking at the area of infrastructure in treating cancer is very important. “So that made me to feel there should be a world class cancer centre here. I have been to one or two world class cancer centres when wife was sick, and I think such things should come to this country. That is the destination of  EAACF. We are thinking in terms of putting in place a world class cancer centre here such like we have in Canada, Australia, USA and India”.

In the aspect partnership to help actualise his dream, Olusegun said that cancer is a very big thing in terms of financial implication.

“The door is open for any one who wants to come to us for one thing or the other. I have been discussing with people in Canada, US and they have agreed that if we have a centre they would come in. And in that centre we are going to have a resource place where we will be inviting experts from all over the world to educate people on cancer.

We want to tell people that cancer may not necessarily be a death sentence. If there is adequate centres where people diagnosed can go, it will be tackled at the earlier stage.

In the same vein, guest speaker, Dr. Ismail Zubair, Consultant, Clinical Onocologist/Lecturer, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria who lectured online really did justice to the topic: Coping with the side effect of Chemotherapy and outlook.

During his lecture, Dr. Ismail educated his listeners the importance of chemotherapy, when to use it and how it should be administered to cancer patients. He didn’t mince words in giving out some side effects patients go through using chemotherapy.

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