Some cancer survivors in Imo have called for early diagnosis and treatment of the disease to increase patients’ chances of survival.
The survivors made the call on Friday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of a cancer sensitisation programme in Owerri.
The programme was organised by the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, in collaboration with some NGOs.
One of the survivors, Mrs. Florence Chibueze, told NAN that early diagnosis and treatment were fundamental to overcoming cancer.
“I was diagnosed early with the disease; I stayed in a wheelchair with oxygen support for two months while undergoing chemotherapy.
“I thank the doctors and my family members for detecting the disease on time and for taking expedient measures to support me,’’ she said.
Another survivor, Mr. Chukwuma Etonyeaku, a retired teacher, urged members of the public to undergo regular health checks.
“The time has passed when cancer was a death a sentence. We just need to detect it early enough and take the right treatment,’’ he said.
Also speaking with NAN, Mr. Patrick Opara, father of a five-year-old survivor, said his daughter was at the final stage of maintenance.
“We are able to go this far because of early diagnosis of her condition. We need to be serious with our health by regularly going for checks,’’ he said.
Delivering a lecture entitled: ‘“Close the Care Gap: Surviving into the Future’’ earlier, Dr. Darmian Oparaocha, a medical doctor, urged cancer patients not to patronise quacks.
He said cancer patients who took the right steps early had huge chances of survival.
Oparaocha cautioned against the activities of quacks who pose as medical experts, saying: “This is a disservice to humanity.’’
In her remarks, the Chairman of the Imo chapter of the Nigerian Cancer Society, Dr. Rita Okeredi, urged governments at all levels to subsidise cancer treatment.
Okeredi also called for stakeholders’ collaboration to make cancer vaccines more available to ensure prevention.