The PinkCruise, a Mobile Cancer Centre (MCC), is to kick off systematic community-based free mass health outreaches on February 4 to mark the 2018 World Cancer Day (WCD) in Nigeria.
Dr Abia Nzelu, the Secretary, Organising Committee of WCD in Lagos said, “MCC is the first of its kind in the world.”
Nzelu, also representing the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), an NGO,
According to her, the mobile cancer centre is much more than a Mobile Mammogram.
“It is a clinic on wheels with state-of-the-art facilities for screening, follow-up and treatment including mammography, sonography, endoscopy, colposcpopy, cryotherapy and surgeries for pre-cancer or early cancer.
It is also a means of preventing 10 major cancer-related killer diseases like malaria, diabetes, renal disease, obesity, HPV, Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS.
By tackling the double burden of disease, including communicable and non-communicable, the MCC will help to raise Nigeria’s life expectancy, which is currently the seventh lowest globally, “ she said.
Nzelu said that the mission aims at establishing effective infrastructure for cancer care, by providing at least one MCC for each state and a Comprehensive Cancer Centre (CCC) for each of the six zones.
According to her, the four pilot set of MCC have been delivered to Nigeria.
“The fixed centres from which the MCC will operate have also been set up in four selected cities representing the four old Regions including Lagos (West), Abuja (North), Asaba (Midwest) and Port Harcourt (East), “ she said.
She said that the global cancer epidemic was a huge public health issue and set to rise.
Nzelu said that currently, one of every three persons would be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and by 2030, one in every two persons would be diagnosed of the disease in their lifetime.
“The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) latest data shows that cancer is now responsible for almost one in six deaths globally.
Each year, 8.8 million people die from cancer. Sadly, about two-thirds of these deaths occur in developing countries like Nigeria.
According to WHO, Nigeria has had a significant increase in the incidence of deaths from the common cancers within four years.
In 2008, breast cancer killed 30 Nigerian women daily; by 2012, this had risen to 40 women daily; in 2008 prostate cancer killed 14 Nigerian men daily; by 2012 this had risen to 26 men daily.
Also, in 2008 liver cancer killed 24 Nigerians daily; by 2012 this had risen to 32 daily. Over 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer annually, with a dismal survival rate of 1: 5, “ she said.
Nzelu said that cancer deaths were preventable.
she said, “One-third of cancers is preventable, another one-third is curable and the last third can have good quality of life with appropriate care. “
WCD is marked annually on February 4.
The 2018 theme is: “We Can. I can.”