Temitope Olatunji-Agunbiade, an oncologist, has appealed to the federal government to intensify efforts toward providing more research centres and health facilities to improve cancer care in the country.
Ms Olatunji-Agunbiade, a consultant radiation and clinical oncologist at the Lagos State Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), made the appeal on Monday in Ota, Ogun.
She noted that having more research centres and better facilities would help to manage cancer patients effectively.
The oncologist added that the establishment of new cancer centres would enhance services relating to cancer prevention, diagnosis, multidisciplinary treatment, supportive care, research and education.
“The government needs to provide hospitals with functional machines, not just structures without medical equipment, because early prevention is key to surviving breast cancer,” said Ms Olatunji-Agunbiade.
The medical doctor explained that the country was winning the battle against cancer as more awareness programmes had led to people coming to hospitals on time by presenting themselves early.
She added that people now had more awareness about the deadly disease, saying, “It is no longer arrow and evil spirit as believed by some quarters that caused the disease.”
Ms Olatunji-Agunbiade commended the government for assisting cancer patients by providing access to facilities but noted that more could still be done.
“The government can still do better and improve awareness on radio and television programmes to boost awareness. In addition, policymakers and lawmakers can help them to improve on what they are doing to stem the tide of cancer,” said Ms Olatunji-Agunbiade.
According to her, prostate and breast cancer are the leading causes of death in Nigeria, and the diseases are curable if detected early but could lead to death if not discovered on time.