Cancer now 2nd leading cause of death globally – NMA
By Steve Oko
Cancer has been identified as the second leading cause of death in the world , resulting to 9.6 million deaths in 2018.
This shocking revelation was made by the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA.
NMA National President, Dr .Francis Faduyile , stated this while delivering his address on the occasion of 2019 World Cancer Day.
According to him , the World Health Organisation estimated that there were 18.1 million new cases of cancer in 2018 alone.
This, he said, was a significant increase of about 4 million cases compared to last estimate of 14.1milion new cases in 2012 .
His words :” It is estimated that 1 in every 5 man and 1 in every 6 women develop cancer in their lifetime and that 1 in every 8 men and 1 in every 11 women die of cancer globally ” he said .”
The NMA boss further said “Africa is estimated to have about 5.8% of the new cases but a disproportionately higher 7.3% of cancer death globally”.
He added that Nigeria had an estimated 115,950 new cases of cancer and an estimated 70,327 cancer deaths in 2018 .
Faduyile ,who described the trend as worrisome, noted that cancer death rate in Nigeria “is still one of the worst in Africa and requires urgent attention”.
He, therefore, called on all stakeholders to rise up against the menace which he said posed serious threat to the populace.
The NMA boss, however, commended the efforts of the Federal Government towards the implementation of the Nigerian National Cancer Control Plan 2018 – 2022.
He equally applauded the on -going renovation of cancer treatment facilities in tertiary centres in the country such as the Lagos University Teaching hospital ,National Hospital Abuja and the National Cancer Center ,Abuja ,describing the government’s effort as a laudable.
The NMA helmsman advocated urgent scale up of the implementation of the national cancer control plan 2018 -2022 and the need to urgently raise awareness on cancer prevention.
He also advocated the enforcement of necessary legislations with implications on cancer prevention such as those on tobacco use among others .
Faduyile also called for universal availability of necessary measures for cancer prevention such as the incorporation of HPV vaccine into primary Health Care Immunization schedule with availability of vaccines.
He commended NMA members “who despite limited facilities are providing care for cancer patients”.
Later in an interview with newsmen, the Chairman NMA Abia state chapter, Dr Mrs Carol Iwuoha,urged people to adopt healthy lifestyle ,avoid carcinogens and anything that can cause cancers such as exposure to radiation and smoking tobacco,among others .
Iwuoha ,who described cancer as an abnormal or out growth of the cells of the body ,encouraged Nigerians to increase their intake of vegetables ,fruits ,whole grains ,saying those foods help people to stay healthy.
She also urged people to go for screening ,saying that with early diagnosis and treatement cancer can be cured.
Iwuoha ,while noting that the cost of treatment of cancer is very high ,called on both the Federal and State government to include cancer care in the health Insurance Scheme.
She said in this 2019 world Cancer day that, NMA had mapped out three days programs to sensitize the people on cancer and the need to live a healthy lifestyle.
The association, she said, was also conducting free cancer screenings while urging Abia residents to take advantage of the gesture and ascertain their status.