The Center Manager and Clinical Pathologist at Bola Tinubu Health and Diagnostic Center (BTHDC), Dr. Wale Olusanya has advocated that accurate data from cancer screening can help doctors detect the malignant cells before they spread to other parts of the body and become terminal.
Dr. Olusanya, who stated this in a statement in Lagos, also noted that there is a need for more laboratories equipped with modern and effective cancer diagnostic equipment in Nigeria.
“Laboratory screening tests with the appropriate devices offer reliable results for prompt diagnoses, saving lives and reducing patient length of stay in hospitals.
“Cancer treatment is more effective in the early stages of the diseases. This is the reason why we need to bridge the gap in cancer screening by establishing more laboratories that have modern equipment. We have the expertise and relevant diagnostic tools that use modern technology in disease screening. This aligns with our mission of enhancing patient care and safety,” the pathologist said.
He added that Cancer is a major health problem in Nigeria causing an estimated 78,899 deaths in 2020 and about 124,815 new cases diagnosed by medical doctors every year, according to data from the Global Cancer Observatory.
Thus, screening tests can reveal a significant abnormality in different body organs and help in monitoring the progression of cancerous cells for proper patient management.
The pathologist explained that a combination of imaging tests such as CT Scans, Ultrasounds and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can help in the early detection of tumors, inflammation, and other signs of cancer, especially in patients that are at high risk.
“Our partnership with the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) has helped doctors detect latent cancers at an early stage. This helps them in properly managing the disease condition and preventing it from spreading to other parts of the patient’s body. Also for cancer survivors, these screening procedures help in identifying untreated cancer cells and reoccurrences. We are planning to have more of these partnerships to support hospitals in the treatment of this deadly disease,” he explained.