Nigeria faces a huge cancer problem with an estimated 72,000 out of the 102,000 cases confirmed annually dying due to the lack of adequate treatment facilities.

Nigeria map/CIA

Addressing the 19th annual general meeting of the Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria, Nigerian pathologist Professor Abdulmumini Rafindadi said the principal causes of cancer remain smoking and alcohol consumption.

With a few medical facilities to treat the disease, cancer is made endemic by the fact that most Nigerians only go to hospital when the infection has advanced beyond remedy.

“Cancer causes dreaded mortality, emotional disturbances and loss of loved ones. Our habit, environment, diet, lifestyles, behavioural and economic factors cause cancer.

“Today, we record about 102,000 cases of cancer and 72,000 patients die annually. About 50 per cent of these casualties are caused by breast and cervical cancers,” Prof Rafindadi said.

Despite its huge population and increasing cancer burden, Nigerian has only 9 hospital that are equipped with the radiotherapy equipment need to manage the disease.