Against the backdrop of the high number of new cases of cancer in Nigeria and the massive loss of lives from the disease, Me Cure Healthcare Limited, a leading healthcare centre in Nigeria, has invested in a PET CT scan, a revolutionised medical diagnosis equipment in Nigeria.
The Chairman of MECURE, Mr Udani Samir disclosed this during a media tour of the Me Cure Cancer Centre domiciled at Oshodi for service operation. While announcing that the services of the PET CT, with market value of between N36 to 40 million US dollars, will be open to patients in the country by February 15, the Chairman of the Me Cure Group further said the medical equipment could detect cancer faster, paving the way for prompt follow up treatment. New data released by the Nigeria Cancer Society (NCS) shows that new cancer cases has been predicted to hit 30 million globally by the year 2040. Cancer is responsible for the deaths of 70,000 Nigerians every year, according to the NCS.
In the light of this massive loss of lives, Udani said detecting cancer while it was still in the early stage, could be treated easily and conclusively. He however pointed out that presently in Nigeria, oncologists were just treating cancer based on their experiences on the job, “but with the help of the PET CT, they would be able to know what stage the cancer was in and which of the three methods of treatment: surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy would be appropriate.”
According to the chairman of Me Cure, using the PET CT would make the job of medical specialists managing cancer a whole lot easier for doctors and it would also increase the comforts of the patients. “Egypt has a population of 110 million people which is about half of the total population of Nigeria; they have about 60 PET CT to cater for the needs of their people but Nigeria is just talking about their first PET CT,” he pointed out. This shows that though Nigeria was slow in rising to the challenge posed by cancer, they are still taking action and doing the right thing.
He however expressed hopes that in the nearest future, more PET CT scanners would be bought in Nigeria . A Consultant Radiologist at Mecure, Dr. Durojaiye Abiodun Adeuja recognised that one of reasons why cancer was still making the rounds in the country was because of the lack of the right forensic and diagnosis that could detect the disease early.
“In our clime, we found that breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer are a bit on the rise now. When patients come to hospitals, the disease gets detected. Some then get surgery and go for radiotherapy or chemotherapy and these cases need to be followed up but we have issues following them up.
“This is because we usually follow them up with CT or MRI but PET CT has the advantage because it doubles the diagnostic quality with combination of PET and CT as a whole so it’s like you are infusing both.”. The PET CT helps to identify functionality while the CT identifies the morphology-the structure as it were; when you now combine both there is an advantage because you are able to pick what is current, what is normal, and you are also able to pick what is residual,” Adewuja explained.
On his part, Dr. Kunle Megbuwawon,a family physician and Chief Strategist at Me Cure lauded the efforts of Me Cure for its investment on the PET CT, saying the initiative would help the general populace. “Looking at the cost of flight and the fact that the more foreign exchange we take out the more we deplete our dollar reserve,” Dr Kunle reasoned: “the average you will need to do a PET-CT outside the country is about $3 to 10,000 dollars. So if you will get it for less than 1,000 dollars it is a big achievement for Nigeria and West Africa. “If PET CT is done on time and cancer is detected early, you can actually have a near 100 per cent cancer cure rate because the right treatment pattern will be used on time and lives would be saved.”