Radiation Oncology in Nigeria; rescuing a fast receding, yet crucially important medical specialty


Radiotherapy is an important treatment modality in the management of malignant tumours. It is estimated that more than half of cancer patients diagnosed in Nigeria will require radiotherapy as a component of their treatment. This translates to about a hundred thousand cancer cases requiring radiotherapy in Nigeria on an annual basis. However, radiation facilities in the country are unable to meet this need. There are only eight treatment centres serving the whole country. Each of these centres have limited facilities and are often bedevilled with various problems including equipment breakdown. The travails of radiotherapy practice in Nigeria is discussed in view of the increasing cancer burden in the country. Recommendations are made on how to improve access to radiotherapy care in the country as we go forward.

Keywords: Radiotherapy Oncology Nigeria

La radiothérapie est une modalité de traitement importante dans la prise en charge des tumeurs malignes. On estime que plus de la moitié des patients cancéreux diagnostiqués au Nigéria nécessiteront une radiothérapie dans le cadre de leur traitement. Cela se traduit par une centaine de milliers de cas de cancer nécessitant une radiothérapie au Nigeria sur une base annuelle. Cependant, les installations de radiation du pays ne sont pas en mesure de répondre à ce besoin. Il n’y a que huit centres de traitement desservant tout le pays. Chacun de ces centres a des installations limitées et est souvent confronté à divers problèmes, y compris la panne d’équipement. Les difficultés de la pratique de la radiothérapie au Nigéria sont discutées compte tenu de la
charge croissante du cancer dans le pays. Desrecommandations sont formulées sur la manière d’améliorer l’accès aux soins de radiothérapie dans le pays à mesure que nous progressons.

Mots clés: Radiothérapie Oncologie Nigeria Amélioration

Correspondence: Dr. A. Abdus-salam, Department of Radiation Oncology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.E-mail: adrusa@gmail.com



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