Exposure to radiation in pregnancy may cause cancer in children— Onchologist - TREAT P WORLD

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Exposure to radiation in pregnancy may cause cancer in children—
Onchologist

Exposure to radiation in pregnancy may cause cancer in children— Onchologist

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By Gabriel Olawale

A Consultant Paediatric Oncologist and Lecturer, College of Medicine,
University of Lagos, Professor Edamisan Temiye, has warned pregnant women
to minimize their exposure to radiation during pregnancy with a view to
preventing unborn babies from cancer.

Temiye who spoke during a walk against cancer organised by Children Living
With Cancer Foundation, CLWCF, weekend in Lagos, said that children
exposed to x-ray radiation during pregnancy has high chances of developing
cancer.

He added that children with body abnormalities have predisposition factor to
cancer, “There are some genetic factors responsible for childhood cancer, if
half of a child body is bigger than the other the chance of developing cancer
is high. If you have identical twins and one of them developed cancer, the
chance of the other one develop cancer is very high.

Temiye who is a specialist in childhood cancer and blood disorder in children
further called on the government to intensify awareness on the prevalence of
the disease in Nigeria, stressing the need for designated centres for treatment
of childhood cancer. According to him, “Childhood cancer is curable if
discovered early. It is far more curable than that of adult, but the rapidity to
death is faster more in children than in adult.

“Government need to support the training of health personnel in the area of
cancer management in children. They also need to make medication for
treatment available because the medication is very costly.

“Nigeria hospital needs to be equipped to be able to diagnosed cancer very
fast and correctly because there are some cancers in children that have
similar description of which using ordinary microscope does not diagnosed
such cancer,” he stated.

On her part, the Founder, Children Living with Cancer Foundation, CLWCF, Dr.
Nneka Nwobbi, regretted that many children living with cancer have died
because their parents could not cope with the treatment cost.

“Overseas we have up to 80 to 90 percent cure rates. In Nigeria we have less
than 20 percent cure rate. Why? It is not because of man power or facilities
but ignorance.”

Many people do not know that children can have cancer. By the time they
come in nothing much can be done only palliative treatment.
Nwobbi explained that the walk against childhood cancer was the sixth in
series since inception of the foundation 14 years ago.

“In our foundation, we create awareness and give free drugs. If we look at
the child background and we discovered that they could not avoid the
treatment we usually help them solicited for support to pay for pay for
surgery, radiotherapy among others and there are still some children on our
waiting list that need Nigerians assistance to stay alive.

The Group Chief Operating Officer, AFRI GLOBAL MEDICARE, Sandeep Kapoor
who participated in the walk also hinted their plans to support Lagos
University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, through the foundation to carry out
subsidized diagnosis for children and with time will extend the partnership to
other areas.

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