The Lakeshore Cancer Centre in Lagos recently played host to the annual oncology conference in Lagos. The conference which is an annual event had as its theme “Updates in Cancer Management”. In attendance were different health professionals and medical oncologist in Nigeria.
The Managing Director of the centre Professor Nwogu in his address said that the only way one can get appropriate treatment in cancer management is by accurate cancer diagnosis and also early detection of the tumor.
“We must be responsible in recommending investigations and treatments that truly bring value to our patients. Not every expensive test or treatment is beneficial to a patient” he said.
Dr Oluwatoyin Shonukan, a Medical Oncologist said that the only confirmatory test for any kind of cancer is through tissue biopsy.
According to him “tissue biopsy is very important for accurate cancer diagnosis”.
Risk associated to Cancer
While speaking at the event, Professor Nwogu said in order to prevent cancer, people must be aware of the risk factors associated with it. We went further to identify factors that can lead to cancer“family history of cancer for instance breast cancer which is the most common type of cancer in Nigeria, advance in age, obesity, exposure to high ionizing radiation, smoking, alcohol consumption”.
He further noted that the WHO emphasized that over 20% of cancer can be prevented if we can control tobacco, alcohol consumption, exposure to carcinogens and good nutrition. He stressed the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables.
Another way of preventing cancer as identified by Dr Lilian Ebuoma, a Radiologist is through the Human Papilomavirus (HPV) vaccine.
The vaccine prevents the transmission of HPV usually during sexual contact. Cervical cancer is most commonly linked to HPV but HPV can also cause cancer in your vulva, vagina, penis, anus, mouth and throat.
Dr Lilian Ebuoma advised males and females between the ages of 9 and 26 years to get the HPV vaccine to protect against genital warts or different types of HPV that causes cancer.
Misconceptions and facts
There are misconceptions to cancer pervading the Nigerian culture.
In creating awareness and educating the populace, the Lakeshore Cancer centre enumerated some of the misconceptions and facts about breast cancer. For instance there is the misconception that when a woman has an abortion late in her pregnancy, the milk meant for the child can spoil and cause cancer in the breast.
However, the true fact is that human breast milk is always fresh and cannot spoil in the breast.
Another misconception on the causes of cancer is that wearing of black brassieres often can cause cancer because the black-coloured underwear will radiate more heat than lightly-coloured underwear.
The fact is there is no scientific evidence to suggest that wearing brassieres- black, white or coloured can lead to the development of breast cancer.
Another of the misconception bandied around relates to the fact that only women can get breast cancer. But the centre refutes the claim. The fact is men have breast tissues also and can develop breast cancer.
Another of the misconceptions which the centre refutes and hopes to educate people about is the notion that sucking and fondling of women’s breast by men helps prevent breast cancer.
However, the fact is there is no scientific evidence to indicate that sucking, squeezing or fondling a woman’s breast could prevent breast lumps or cancer.
Dedication to Cancer treatment
Dr Oge Ilegbune, a General practitioner and Head of Strategy, Development and Outreach at the centre said that the centre is committed in the provision of cancer prevention, treatment and education.
“Lakeshore Cancer centre is the first operational facility in Nigeria dedicated solely to cancer prevention and treatment”. She said