ECCNI, LFBCCF provide free treatment for cervical cancer patients in Yobe
A Non-profit making/Non-Governmental Organisation, End Cervical Cancer Nigeria Initiative (ECCNI) has collaborated with the Lami Fatima Babare Cervical Cancer Foundation (LFBCCF) to create awareness and also provide treatment for the people of Yobe State.
Speaking with Neptune Prime on Thursday, June 16, 2022, the Executive Director of End Cervical Cancer Nigeria Initiative, Dr Ishiaq Lawal said the organisation is aimed at ensuring that Nigeria will be able to eliminate cervical cancer.
Dr Lawal said: “Cervical cancer is the second commonest cancer affecting women, it is second to breast cancer. In Nigeria, it is estimated that there are about 14,000 cases annually.
He stated that every living person is at risk of cancer, and the solution is to screen and detect it early.
He said: “Women should take their health seriously and go for screening because the best time to catch cancer is at the early stage because if it advances the chances of prognosis becomes low which leaves them with palliative care, that is a treatment given not to cure but to ease the suffering of the patient while the disease is growing.
“The early stage of cancer is bad because you don’t feel pains. And it is bad because people only go to seek help when there is pain. Every sexually active woman should go for screening.
“Cervical cancer is unique in the sense that there’s what you call the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine which can be given to young girls to protect them from having cancer in the future. HPV is best prevented before a girl starts any sexual activity, so it’s best to give it to girls aged 9 – 14.
Dr Lawal who said the centre was aimed at providing an easy service to the women in Yobe State to save them the stress of going through hospital procedures, added that the centre would be able to provide a level of treatment for the early stages.
“The centre would be such that it would screen, treat the early stages and for those in late stages that can not be treated at the centre, we will identify hospitals and we will support them to access treatment.
“So it is a complete package in honour of Lami Fatima Babare. It is a way that the family wants to give back to society. They want to turn their sorrow into joy for others.
“The screening and treatment at the centre will be free. But the treatment at the higher level would have to be paid for because we have no control over that. But if a patient cannot pay, the centre would seek donations to support them.
“To improve the efficiency of the centre, we would be including breast cancer screening, so that we can screen the women for both breast and cervical cancer, he added.
Speaking about the levels of cervical cancer, Dr Lawal said: “There are three levels of treatment for Cervical Cancer, namely; Surgery, Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy.
“For the early stage, surgery alone would be enough for the treatment. When it is relatively late, you can combine surgery and chemotherapy, but when it is late you can only do chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Currently, in Nigeria, there are just about 8 centres that offer radiotherapy services”.
Dr Lawal who stated that the screening is not for cancer but things that are likely to cause cancer, said they are screened for pre-invasive.
He said the symptoms of cervical cancer at a higher level could be a smelly vaginal discharge, bleeding after sexual contact or irregular vaginal bleeding.
Dr Lawal who said pain is not a common sign of cervical cancer unless it has become so bad and then you can start having abdominal pains, back pains, leg pains, leg swelling etc, urged women to go for screening before it gets late.