A Consultant Oncologist, Dr Abia Nzelu, has called for routine medical checkups for early detection of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancers, diabetes, hypertension and hepatitis.
Nzelu, also the Executive Secretary, Mass Medical Mission (MMM), gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Lagos.
She said that early detection of such ailments would go a long way in helping to tackle and manage them.
“Cancer is one of the NCDs we have, which also include hypertension, chronic chest problems, diabetes, hepatitis and so on.
“And the earlier we do medical checkup, the earlier we report complaints, the better.
“Routine checkup can serve as either primary or secondary preventive measure to NCDs.
“It is a primary preventive measure in some cases where it can prevent the occurrence of the disease, by picking up the precancerous lesions.
“A good example is cervical cancer; treatment of the precancerous lesions prevents the occurrence of the full-blown cancer.
“As a secondary preventive measure, it promotes early detection of the established disease and prompt treatment,” she said.
The consultant noted that vaccination against viruses like Human Papiloma Virus (HPV) and Hepatitis B could also help to prevent NCDs and their complications.
According to her, HPV is a risk factor for cancers that occur in about 12 parts of the body including cervix, vulva, vagina, throat, anus, nail bed, conjunctival of the eye, scrotum, perineum, among others.
“Most NCDs have common risk factors; so, by controlling the modifiable risk factors, one can reduce the risk of most NCDs.
“Reduction of intake of fatty foods and red meat, while increasing intake of fruits and green leafy vegetables, whole grain meals, fish and white meat like chicken are recommendable steps toward preventing NCDs.
“Also, exercise, healthy weight, reduction of alcohol intake, quitting smoking, avoiding unsafe sex since diseases like HPV, Hepatitis B and C, are risk factors for some NCDs like cancer.
“Avoiding environmental pollutants like fuel and diesel fume from generators will equally help,” Nzelu said.
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
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