Cancer and available treatment options, equipment in Nigeria
An Analysis by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Some cancer patients will have only one treatment, while others will have a combination of treatments, such as surgery with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, a procedure in which a surgeon removes the cancer from the body.

The different treatment options are Radiation Therapy, which involves the use of high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours, while chemotherapy is treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells.

Immunotherapy is another type of cancer treatment that helps the immune system to fight cancer, while targeted therapy focuses on changes in cancer cells that help them to grow, divide, and spread.

Hormone therapy is another treatment option that slows or stops the growth of breast and prostate cancers that use hormones to grow, while stem cell transplant is a procedure that restores blood-forming stem cells in cancer patients who have had theirs destroyed by very high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

However, there is also precision medicine which helps doctors to select treatments that are most likely to help patients based on genetic understanding of the disease, including how genetic changes in a persons cancer are identified and used to select treatment option.

Even though there are different treatment options, the issue of decaying, obsolete, unserviceable and in some cases the lack of equipment and drugs in hospitals and clinics across the country, as well as the cost force many patients to seek for help from other sources or remain helpless.

The issue of availability, accessibility and cost of treatment are essential for the functioning of any health facility offering cancer treatment toward providing quality healthcare for patients

This is because to attend to any patient, a doctor requires basic equipment to diagnose the ailment before prescribing medication, or treatment option.

Dr Abdulrazzaq Oyesegun, an Oncologist and Clinical Consultant, Oncology, National Hospital, Abuja (NHA) told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said NHA has up-to-date equipment for cancer treatment and management, and advised anyone who noticed any unusual growth or lump to go to hospital for early detection and prompt treatment.

According to him, Federal Government is trying to provide up-to-date cancer facilities across the country.

He said we have up-to-date cancer equipment in Abuja and Lagos, the plan is for same thing to be extended to all zones in the country.

He explained that all cancer equipment in the hospital were functioning, noting thatthe availability made it possible for many people not to travel abroad for treatment.

According to him, some insurance companies are now supporting the treatment of cancer, and wants Nigerians to seize the opportunity.

He said that the only challenge was the lack of manpower, as many doctors leave the country in search of better opportunities elsewhere.

For five years now, we have been in partnership with the American and Chilean team of medical doctors from Moses Lake Foundation in America.

patients have started accessing it and are being treated successfully.

Isamotu told NAN that the state government recently receivedsome equipment from Germany and Canada, which he said had so far improved the health management system in the state.

NAN reports that there are three tertiary health institutions in the statethe Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado Ekiti, the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti(FETHI) and the Afe Babalola University Multi- System Hospital, Aso Ekiti, (ABUADTH).

Some patients, who spoke to NAN in Ilorin, the Kwara capital, however lamented the dearth of medical equipment in hospitals across the state.One of the patients, Mrs Dupe Aina, said most times, the medical facilities were not enough to take care of sick patients.

It should be a referral health facility, which should be from private to teaching hospital because teaching hospital itself is a tertiary health facility, he said.

Ossai explained that the centres would be equipped with MRI machines, mammographic machines and other health facilities that would help in proper healthcare delivery services in the state.

The medical director said that the installation and test run of the equipment as well as training of personnel to man the facility were at their final stages.

Cancer, which is a debilitating disease, needs all efforts to tackle, as all hand must be on deck to stem its spread. (NANFeatures)

Source: NAN