Posted: Tuesday 5th February 2013 at 4:42 am

250,000 Nigerians suffer cancer yearly

The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, has disclosed that 250,000 Nigerians suffer from different forms of cancer yearly.

The minister, who was represented by Mr. Samson Opaluwa, an engineer, said this yesterday in Abuja during the World Cancer Day. Its theme is: ‘Cancer- Did you Know?’

He said: “We record 250,000 new cases of cancer yearly and as you all know, cancer is of different types, we have cervical cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer and so many others.”

According to the minister, four myths have impacted negatively on the prevention and control needs to be corrected.

“The myths are, so many people see cancer as just a health issue, cancer as a disease of the wealthy, elderly and developed countries, cancer is a death sentence and cancer is my fate.”

Discouraging people on the myths, Prof. Chukwu said: “The truth is that cancer is not just a health issue. It has wide-reaching social, economic development and human rights implications. Also, cancer does not discriminate, it is a global epidemic, affecting all ages, with low and middle-income countries bearing a disproportionate burden.

“Most of the people diagnosed with cancer see it as a death sentence. The truth remains that many cancer that were once considered a death sentence can now be cured and for many more people, their cancer can now be treated effectively.”

The wife of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in last year’s election in Ondo State, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has decried the poor funding and low awareness associated with cancer in Nigeria.

She appealed to corporate bodies and well-meaning Nigerians to partner the Federal Government on cancer awareness to reduce the rate of the disease.

Mrs. Akeredolu, who is also the President of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), spoke yesterday at a cancer awareness programme organised by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in Ile-Ife, Osun State to celebrate this year’s World Cancer Day.

She said cancer was responsible for one out of eight deaths experienced daily worldwide, adding that 7.8 million cancer patients die annually in the developing nations as a result of their ignorance or lack money for treatment.

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