About 115,950 new cases of cancer have been recorded annually in Nigeria, Apollo hospitals in India hinted this at a press conference in Abuja, where they educated Nigerians on new cancer treatment measures called proton therapy.
The hospital said stated that the number was for diagnosed and registered cases, stressing that many more are undiagnosed and unregistered.
“Out of the figure, 71,000 cancer cases were of female while 44,000 cases were of male. Similarly, out of 71,000 female, 26,000 plus cases were only of breast cancer.”
The hospital also placed the 5 years prevalence of the scourge at 211,000 cases, adding that Nigeria’s cancer burden was huge.
According to the Deputy General Manager (International Marketing) of the hospital, Mr Amit Chanturvedi said the proton therapy was for improving outcomes of cancer treatment and quality of survivorship.
He said: that as per the world cancer registry, every year Nigeria has 115,950 new cases, and this number is from the registry. Many more got undiagnosed and unregistered. So, every year Nigeria is having 115000+ new cancer cases.
“Five years prevalence is 211,000 cases. Out of 115,000 cases, 71,000 cancer cases are female and 44,000 are male. Out of 71,000 females, 26,000 plus cases are only of breast cancer.
“So, the cancer burden of Nigeria is huge and we are here to with a solution which can deal with this problem if not completely but up to a great extent. We are treating Nigerians for many years now. We have a bit extended family of Apollo patient here in Nigeria.
“Every month, Apollo is receiving 100 plus patients in India. But our intention is not only to take patients from from Nigeria to India for that matter or any other country to India.
“We believe in capacity building in the field of healthcare of the country of origin where patient belongs to. So, for that matter, we have done some tie-ups with some Nigerian public and private sector. We are in talks with national hospital to run clinical programs in collaboration. We are focusing on telemedicine from Nigeria as well.”
Chanturvedi added that the cost for proton was $65,000.while also explaining their level of enlightenment so far.
“Also, yeah, we are in discussions with many of the public healthcare providers for Comprehensive Cancer Center in Nigeria. So, those talks are also going on.
“So, the cost of proton is expensive actually, and we are the only center who have this technique in the whole of Southeast Asia and Middle East. But it’s not the the only option with Apollo groupm. We have all kinds of radiation machines available from CyberKnife to normal linear accelerator to TomoTherapy. So, we give a choice to the patient and is dependent on the patient to choose from all available options. So, as we have all the options available and under one roof, we give all the options to the patient with the benefit and the side effects. Proper medical counseling done before administrating any treatment so that patient can take an informed decision. So, again, proton is one of the options and not only option.”
“We are sharing lots of things in common between India and Nigeria including our culture, our values, the way we respect our elders, you know our economical legions are almost also very, very much similar. Around 80% 85% of the Indians are not able to afford protons, but those who are able to afford, they should know that yes, there is a solution for them. That is most most important”, he said.
Meanwhile Dr. Sapna Nangia ; The Senior Consultant, Radiation Oncology, Head, Neck, Breast and Gynaecological Cancers, at the Apollo Cancer Centre, highlighted the benefits of proton therapy, saying it was safe.
“Proton therapy has multiple advantages that target tumours and cancer cells with precision and minimal exit dose thus reducing overall toxicity. It also reduces the probability and/or severity of short-and-long side effects on surrounding healthy tissues and organs. It is favorable in treating recurrent tumours, even in patients who have already received radiation”.