Saturday, September 18, 2021

Cancer treatment now affordable in Nigeria, says Oncologist

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Safiyah Bello
Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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Chinedu Aruah, an Oncologist with the National Hospital, Abuja, says compared to other countries, cancer treatment in Nigeria is relatively affordable.

Mr Aruah, who is also the Head of Department, Radiation and Clinical Oncology of the hospital, disclosed this on Tuesday, in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.

He defined cancer as a progressive, uncontrolled, continuous and purposeless growth of tissues that had no function in the body.

According to him, these tissues penetrate and attack other parts of the body, thereby weakening the immune system of victims.

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“Normal cells have a life span of when to grow and die, but cancer cells are those cells that do not obey this control mechanism. So, they continue without any check by the body.

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“In terms of the cost, I will say the cost of radiotherapy here, when compared to other places like Ghana, is relatively cheaper.

“If you go to places like India or Dubai to do radiotherapy, it is very expensive and you have to pay in dollars.

“In Ghana, radiotherapy is about 10,000 dollars, but in Nigeria it is N600,000 for radical treatment and N350,000 for palliative,’’ Mr Aruah said.

He said that this was because the Federal Government had subsidised the rate of radiotherapy so that every cancer patient could access the treatment.

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According to him, the government is also creating awareness on the dangers of cancer to encourage early diagnoses and treatment.

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