The Director of Research, Nigeria Institute Of Medical Research, Prof. Oliver Ezechi has said cervical cancer is treatable if detected early adding that an estimated 36 million women aged 15 years and over, are at risk of developing cervical cancer in Nigeria.
The professor made this observation while speaking with journalists on Monday, according to Vanguard.
He observed that with 12.000 cases diagnosed and 8.000 deaths recorded annually, it was equivalent to 33 new cervical cases and 22 deaths.
While noting that cervical cancer is one of the predominant causes of cancer deaths in Nigeria, he rated it to be second most common cancer after breast cancer among the female.
“Cancer of the cervix, commonly known as cervical cancer, it the fourth most common cancer among women globally. Currently, one life is lost every two minutes to this disease. Importantly, it is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in women in 36 countries including Nigeria.
“In 2020, an essential 604, 000 new cases and 342,000 deaths occurred, with more than 90 per cent of the new cases and deaths occurring in Low and Low Middle Income Countries, LMICC. In Nigeria, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer and second to breast cancer among female population.
“Over 36 million women over 15 years in Nigeria are at risk of developing it. There are 12,000 cases diagnosed annually, with 8,000 deaths translating to 33 new cervical cancer cases and 22 deaths from the disease daily.
“It is one of the most preventable and successful treatable forms if it is detected diagnosed early and managed effectively. Like many cancers, the earliest cervical cancer is detected, the higher the chances of survival.
“The high burden of cervical cancer and resultant number of deaths occurring in women in Nigeria are attributable to poor access to effective screening and identification of precancerous lesions, late presentation in the health facilities and inadequate treatment services.”
He stated that Nigeria lack the culture of seeking medical attention as they complain lack of money noting that Nigerians save money for parties, clothes and shoes, but will not spend on their health.
“How much is the vaccine? When we started the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, test in the country, it was unaffordable. However, because of the publicity and intervention, now it is affordable.
“We will not be able to vaccinate all the young girls in Nigeria, but we are trying to create that movement that would make the federal and state government move into action prioritize it.
“People organize shows and call musicians to perform for huge sums. What will stop them saying, “I am going to vaccinate all the girls in Yaba local government? I am not saying entertainment is not important but one needs to be healthy before one can be entertained.