…..As EAACF holds awareness lecture
Clinical Oncologist and Lecturer, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Dr. Omolola Salako has advised Nigerians not to engage in self medication or seek spiritual healing, when they are ill, rather they should seek treatment, in standard medical facilities. Salako who gave the advice at the annual lecture of Ellen Adeyinka Anjorin Cancer Foundation, EAACF, tagged, “Cancer treatment with special reference to chemotherapypros and cons”, held recently at Chemline House, Ikeja, Lagos, advised people to go for tests, at qualified facilities, for early detection, treatment, and possible cure of cancer. While noting that cancer is a reality in Nigeria, as it is in other parts of the world, the Oncologist disclosed that cancer can arise from any part of the body, at any age, in men and women. “The first point of call for symptoms should be a standard medical facility, not a religious centre, quacks, use of supplements or outright denial of the existing health challenge”, she said. Salako listed regular exercise, balanced nutrition, rest and peace of mind, as vital and formidable elements, in the fight against cancer.
She added that excess alcohol consumption, as well as environmental pollution is dangerous to the body. She advised that people going through challenges of cancer, should be supported by those around them, by helping them locate the right medical facilities for tests and treatments early enough. While calling on government to make treatment of cancer affordable in cancer care centres, Salako noted that among other challenges, that there are fewer oncologists, compared to the number of cancer patients in the country. For his part, Dr. Ismail Zubair, Clinical Oncologist, and Lecturer, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria speaking on the topic “Coping with the side effects of chemotherapy and outlook”, said because the anti-cancer drugs are given systematically, while targeting cancerous cells, it is possible that it affects normal cells in the body. Disclosing that side effects are not always as bad as one expects, Dr. Zubair said usually, the oncologist prescribes doses that are high enough to destroy the cancer cells, and at a level that minimizes the side effects.
He added that when side effects are severe, it is common practice to discontinue the offending drug or reduce the dose. While advising patients to ask their oncologist about any late side effect, Zubair disclosed that at every circle of chemotherapy, the oncologist usually prescribes medicines that protect- the body’s normal cells, and relieves side effects. In his welcome address, Olusegun Anjorin, husband to late Ellen Adeyinka Anjorin, who the foundation is named after, said the principal aim of EAACF, is to create awareness on cancer, educate the general public on the prevention and management of cancer, and ultimately put in place, a world class centre that is accessible and affordable to all. Anjorin advised the government on industrial waste management, in Nigerian cities, so as to curb the increased rate in cancer cases. “Cancer concerns all and ‘Chemo’ is a dreaded word in cancer treatment, and that is why this lecture is important”, he said. According to Anjorin, “EAACF is made up of sympathetic and genuinely concerned individuals and corporate entities, across the nations of the world, who are dedicated to joining others in combating cancers. Thus, our door is open to those who share our dreams and are sincerely willing to work with us in realising our objectives.” The lecture is an annual event that holds on the 7th of July, in honour of Mrs Ellen Adeyinka Anjorin, who died of Colon Cancer on 7th July, 2019 at the age of 57.