One of Nigerias foremost cancer centres, the Calabar Cancer Registry, has urged groups, firms and governments to support further research into the disease.
Professor Ima-Obong Ekanem, the Director of the registry made the call during an interaction with some journalists in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, south-south Nigeria ahead of the 2020 World Cancer Day.
Professor Ekanem disclosed that the last research conducted by the registry and records available dated back to 2009 and 2013.
“I am appealing to public spirited individuals, groups, governments and firms to come to the aid of the cancer registry with supports to enable us embark on more research and registrations,” stated Ekanem.
According to her, this has become imperative because the record we have was based on the last research conducted by the registry between 2009 and 2013.
It was this same record I presented 3 months ago in Maputo, Mozambique before oncologists.
“It has been 5 years, we need updated data.”
Professor Ekanem, who is also the head of Department of Pathology in the Faculty of Medicine in the College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, disclosed that the registry during its last research discovered high incidence of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer, prevalent among women in Calabar, Cross River capital than in other areas.
Ekanem hinted that the reason for the high prevalence of Hodgkins lymphoma in women of Calabar was not clear, noting there is need for further investigations to ascertain the causes.
She also disclosed that there was high incidence of prostate cancer and Kaposi Sarcoma in men and cervical as well as breast cancer in women.
The Director further revealed that the study indicated that HIV-associated cancers such as cervical, Kaposi’s sarcoma and Lymphoma were among the most common in Calabar.
She said the age specific incidence of prostate cancer, which is the leading cancer among men in Calabar rises sharply from age 40 to 44 years.
“This possibly may be due to an increased number of urologists at the teaching hospital during the period of this study leading to more cases being diagnosed.”
According to Ekanem, over a third of all cancers are preventable by reducing exposure to risk factors.
She suggested, “early detection of cancers including the use of screening programmes, better awareness and service availability can lead to early diagnosis. However, such screening is not affordable by majority of the women. For these detection programmes to be effective a strong health care system must be in place to provide equity of access to diagnosis, treatment and palliative care of all cancer patients,” she added.