Home Health Oncologist decries lack of national statistics on cancer

Oncologist decries lack of national statistics on cancer


LAGOS – A radiation oncologist, Dr Lola Salako, said on Thursday that lack of national statistics on cancer has affected the quality of cancer care delivery in the country. [pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
Salako, the Founder, Sebeccly Cancer Care and Support Centre, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that due to lack of data, the magnitude of the disease in Nigeria was unknown.
“Cancer is a dreaded disease, with breast cancer and cervical cancer being the commonest in women.
“Unfortunately, there are no national statistics to say exactly how many are affected by the disease; what we only have are regional statistics,” she said.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
Salako said that availability of a comprehensive database would help the stakeholders in formulating effective strategies to fight against cancer.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
According to her, having a surveillance system in place will help provide statistics to work with.
She said that only a reserved number of cancer patients got to the hospitals.
“ A significant number of patients can’t even gain access to the hospital and lots are seeking alternative care; whatever we see in the hospitals are like the reserve cases.
“For us to tackle cancer effectively, we need to access the situation from a national point of view with the availability of a comprehensive database.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”8″]
“Some reports have said that in the South-West, breast cancer is the commonest, while in the North, some studies support cervical cancer as the commonest.
“Putting all the information together will ensure that resources can be effectively deployed to fight the various forms of cancer,” she said.
The expert said that non-availability of a national database had also resulted in some areas being neglected in screenings and awareness campaigns.
“Another drawback is that although so many campaigns are ongoing on screenings and vaccination, some areas are unreached and we find repeated campaigns in some other particular areas.
“The awareness campaigns are concentrated in the urban centres, while there are lots of infrastructural challenges in the rural areas.
“We need information to ensure that places that have not been reached will get the needed intervention, support and campaigns,” she said.
Salako said that many cancer patients were not surviving the disease due to late presentation to hospitals, lack of awareness and the high cost of cancer treatment. (NAN)

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