Rivers State commissioner for health, Dr Adaeze Oreh, has revealed that five new cases of breast cancer among women are diagnosed in tertiary health institutions in the state on monthly basis.
She expressed regret that most diagnosed cases were in the late stages of the disease where the prognosis of treatment may not be favourable.
Oreh, who spoke in a statewide broadcast to mark the 2024 World Cancer Day, called on the people of the state to go for regular screening for common preventable cancers.
She said, “According to the report from the cancer registries in Nigeria, the incidence of cancers in both sexes in 2020 was 124,815 with a mortality of 78,899.
“The prevalence of cancer in Nigeria for the past 5 years is 233,911. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Nigeria followed by cervical cancer, non-Hodgkin’s-lymphoma, ovarian cancer, colorectum cancer and other cancers.
“In men, prostate cancer is one of the commonest followed by liver cancer. The annual number of cancer cases in children aged 0-14 years for 2020 is 11,837.
“Five new cases of breast cancer among women are diagnosed monthly in a tertiary facility in the state, and most diagnosed cases are in the late stages of the disease where the prognosis of treatment may not be favourable.
“Facility-based data from the state showed that among forty-two thousand women screened for cervical precancerous lesions from 2019 to 2023, a positivity rate of 13% was observed.
“I therefore implore you, the people of Rivers State to go for regular screening for these common preventable cancers.
“Also, eating healthy, avoiding smoking cigarettes and harmful alcohol consumption and exercising are common behaviours that help prevent cancers.”