Oral cancer is a devastating disease that has claimed the lives of many Nigerians. According to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, 764 Nigerians die from mouth cancers every year. This high mortality rate is a cause for concern and highlights the need for increased awareness of the disease.
The one-day oral cancer training program organized by the Cleft and Facial Deformity Foundation (CFDF) in Abuja was aimed at educating people about the dangers of oral cancer and the importance of early detection. The training program brought together experts in the field of dentistry and oncology to discuss the various aspects of oral cancer and ways to prevent it.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Ehanire expressed worries that most people were not aware of the devastating effect of oral cancer in the country. He noted that the mortality rate is higher than the rest of the cancers and emphasized the need for increased awareness.
Oral cancer is a type of cancer that develops in any part of the mouth. Its symptoms include a sore that doesn’t heal, a lump or a white or red patch on the inside of the mouth. If left untreated, it can lead to severe health complications and death.
The high mortality rate of oral cancer in Nigeria reflects the lack of awareness about the disease, a lot of Nigerians are not aware of the early warning signs of oral cancer, which makes early detection and treatment difficult. This is why awareness campaigns like the one organized by the CFDF are essential in raising awareness and educating people about the disease.
In her presentation at the event, Bukola Adeyemi of the University College Ibadan said oral cancer was not too prevalent in the country. However, she noted that over 1,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year, and over 700 of that number dies. This means that over 50 percent of people diagnosed with oral cancer die from the disease every year in the country.
This high mortality rate underscores the importance of early detection and treatment of oral cancer. It is important for people to be aware of the early warning signs of the disease and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
The Minister of Health also revealed that the government is intensifying its awareness campaign to educate people about the dangers of oral cancer. He noted that the health ministry is launching a policy on oral health in November, which will focus on preventive measures and raising awareness in communities.
The policy aims to map at least 50 percent of the population in rural areas and ensure there are better professionals at primary healthcare centers. The ministry is also aiming to establish comprehensive dental clinics comprising dentists, therapists, and hygienists in at least three geopolitical zones of every state in the country.
The establishment of comprehensive dental clinics is essential in providing accessible and affordable oral healthcare to Nigerians, especially those in rural areas. It will also go a long way in reducing the mortality rate of oral cancer in the country.
It is essential that individuals take steps to detect it early by paying attention to symptoms such as sores that do not heal, lumps, or patches inside the mouth that are white or red. People should also undergo regular check-ups with their dentist to ensure that any abnormalities are identified early on. With increased awareness and early detection, it is possible to reduce the mortality rate of oral cancer in Nigeria and save lives.