Nigeria Records 1,146 Cases of Oral Cancers Annually – Ehanire

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Osagie Ehanire

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, says there are 1,146 new cases of oral cancers documented in Nigeria annually.

He made the statement on Sunday in Abuja during a training programme on oral cancer organised by Comprehensive Fundamentals for the Development of Vocational Training (CFDF).

Represented by the Head of Dentistry Division of the Ministry, Dr Gloria Uzoigwe, he said mouth cancers, also known as oral cancers, claims 764 lives in Nigeria every year.

According to him: “Oral cancers continued to be one of the top causes of cancer-related deaths in Nigeria, mainly due to delayed reporting to hospitals, as well as healthcare professionals' failure to identify and treat lesions early”.

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The minister said the government would launch a new oral health policy in November.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CFDF,  Seidu Belo, said, “Artificial intelligence plays a key role in detecting oral cancers and other oral malignant disorders early.

“It could be used to predict with more than 90 percent accuracy that someone could develop cancer in another 10 years”.

He said the use of artificial intelligence for oral health was currently close to zero level in Nigeria.

Nigerian Dental Association (NDA) President, Tope Adeyemi, represented by NDA Secretary-General, Ukachi Nauthuihe, called for full inclusion of oral health into the country’s primary health care services to facilitate access to oral healthcare.

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The risk factors for oral cancer in Nigeria include tobacco and alcohol consumption, oral sex and heavy consumption of foods cooked over naked flames like suya, continuous infection in the mouth, according to a study by Prof. Bukola Folashade Adeyemi of the University College Hospital, Ibadan.

 

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