COVID-19 has affected fight against cancer, says expert

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Dayo Ojerinde

A professor of radiation therapy and and oncology, Francis Durosinmi-Etti, has lamented the impact of COVID-19 in the fight against cancer.

Durosinmi-Etti, in an interview with our correspondent on Wednesday said the pandemic had affected the care of cancer patients as patients and doctors now fear to come to the clinic.

“COVID-19 has affected the fight against cancer in the country. There has been a reduction in the number of patients we see at the moment as everyone is afraid to come to the hospital. There is also palpable fear at the moment, especially with this second episode among doctors themselves. As a doctor, we have to be very careful; it is even worse these days that many of the patients that are seen don’t even present with fever or cough anymore.

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“For those on treatment at the cancer centre at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, what we’ve done now to have phased working arrangement for our doctors. Some will work this week, others will work next so that we reduce the number of patients in the hospital.

“We also try to limit the number of patients’ concentration at any given time. Now, patients are being given appointment, rather than them coming to hospital and sit down all day. If your appointment is 12 noon, we make sure you come around 11.30am, so that you won’t have to wait for too long while waiting to see a doctor,” Durosinmi-Etti said.

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The expert also lamented the cost of cancer treatment, calling on well-meaning Nigerians to support the care of patients with cancer.

World Cancer Day organised by the Union for International Cancer Control is celebrated on 4 February annually.

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