The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, yesterday said that 80 percent of cancer cases in the country are curable even as he disclosed that the Ministry’s database shows that 50 percent of corpses flown into the country involve cancer-related deaths.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has put in place plans to address the menace of the disease, particularly, as it concerns six major cancers in the country, including breast, cervix, colorectal, prostrate, liver and lymphoma.
Adewole, who spoke during a symposium tagged: “Cancer in Nigeria,” organised by the Ministry in collaboration with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, explained that 40 percent of cancer can be prevented with healthy lifestyle while another 40 per cent if detected early can be cured.
Identifying that cancer was a major problem in developing world and has been estimated that between 25 to 30 million people were living with cancer worldwide, he said cancer has been a major cause of death in developing countries like Nigeria due to late presentation.
“For us in the developing world for many years, the emphasis has been on communicable diseases, infections and so on, but as we begin to change our lifestyle,” he said. By eating westernised food, living a sedentary life, smoking, either primarily or secondarily, we are bound to face cancer as a challenge,” he said.
The minister said when cancers are detected early; they can be cured because for most cancers aside from breast cancer, can be removed either by drugs, radiotherapy or surgeries.