The Federal Government has concluded plans to roll out nationwide screening for most common types of cancers. This was disclosed on Sunday by the Minister of Health Isaac Adewole.
The screening will be on the most common types of cancers, such as breast and cervical cancer in women and prostate cancer among men, the minister said a statement issued to mark the 2018 World Cancer Day, with the theme “We can, I can.”
The World Cancer Day is celebrated on the February 4, every year to draw attention to the disease.
This year’s theme was geared toward exploring individual and collective drive in reducing the global burden of cancer, the minister said. Adewole said individuals could play their role in fighting cancer through healthy lifestyle choices by engaging in weekly physical activities for at least two and half hours for adult, and an hour for children.
He said other lifestyle modifications included avoiding tobacco smoking and eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol intake and staying safe under the sun.
Adewole also emphasized that high index of suspicion for early symptoms and signs of cancer were important, because finding cancer early makes it easier to treat and cure.
The minister appealed to communities to dispel myths and misconceptions that led to stigma and discrimination against people living with the disease.
Adewole said the commissioning of a new radiotherapy machine at National Hospital Abuja, recently, would provide easy access to radiation treatment for Nigerians.
He added that additional new machine was donated by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) and would be in operational at National Hospital Abuja, in the next few months.
He added that the facility at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) would be offering full and uninterrupted services from June 2018.
The recent alarm on rising global incidence of cancer by the World Health Organization (WHO) should worry African countries, including Nigeria, where the disease is most prevalent.
In Nigeria, about 10,000 cancer deaths are recorded annually while 250,000 new cases are recorded yearly.