World Head/Neck Cancer Day: Nigeria Needs More Radiotherapy Centres, National Ear Care Centre MD Says

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By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna

In view of increasing cases of cancer in the country, a passionate appeal has been made to the Federal Government to provide more radiotherapy centres in the country.

The  Medical Director of the  National Ear Care Centre, Kaduna, Dr. Mustapha ABUBAKAR Yaro made the appeal, while fielding questions from newsmen during the centre’s sensitization programme to create awareness as part of activities to mark the 2020 World Head and Neck Day on Monday July 27.

“Radiotherapy comes after surgery or chemotherapy treatment of cancer. Unfortunately, the centres are not much in Nigeria. We call on government to improve the radiotherapy availability to cut across all the geopolitical zones of the country. 

Staff of National Ear Care Centre Kaduna distributing pamphlets to sensitized people on risk factors of Head and Neck cancers on Monday July 27, 2020.

“Patients after undergoing surgery or treatment wait for long to get radiotherapy. 

“We are also calling on the Government that more cancer centres are available in six Geo political centres,” he appealed.


Speaking further, he said that the cost of personnel and equipment for setting up a radiotherapy centre makes it expensive, as such adequate funding is required for setting up

He said that in other countries, small hospitals have radiotherapy centres, expressing hope that in the future,  the National Ear Care  Centre would have such when funds are available. 

He stressed that for the fact that any part of the body can develop cancer,  more patients nationally may be requiring radiotherapy.

The MD said that the World Head and Cancer Day is to create awareness on the risk factors leading to its growth. 

“A lot of people are not aware that cancer of Head and Neck exists

“Most people only know of cancer of the  breast and cervix among the women and prostate among men.


“People can have cancer of throat, tongue and others, which are related to the head.
“People should know risk factors, like smoking and exposure to radiation. Multiple exposure to x-ray  is also a risk factor,” he said.


Furthermore, he explained that smoke pollution is also a risk factor, resulting from urbanization.
“Industrialization is also a factor due to chemicals exposure,” he added.


He emphasized that the day is meant to enlighten public on risk factors and symptoms.

“Like for throat cancer, voice can change and become hoarse, they can have difficulty breathing or swallowing. They can also have  bleeding from the nose or ulcers on the head refusing to heal,” he informed.

The MD said that on their part at the National Ear Care Centre, they carry out diagnosis to detect early cancer, which they treat some.

“Cancer can be treated through surgery and chemotherapy. We can operate and treat cancer of the nose and tongue here. But we can do surgery for all cancers. 

“The only aspect we refer outside here is the radiotherapy which only for now is available at the National Hospital Abuja  or in Sokoto and Ibadan,” he said.

He raised alarm that occurrences of Head and Neck Cancers is increasing in the country due to increase in indulgence in some of the risk factors like alcohol and smoking.

He said as a result, they embraced marking the  World Head and Neck Cancer Day to create awareness.


“People should know that the cancer of Head and Neck is increasing and if they feel anything strange, they can visit the National Ear Care Centre which is the best place they can come for such treatment,” he said.

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