A Nigerian radiologist based in Australia, Dr Hammed Adekanbi, said on Wednesday in Abuja that cancer patients require lots of special care after treatment with radio-active substances, which kill other body cells.
Speaking on the side-line of the on-going 2020 Cancer Week, Adekanbi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that “one of the worst things to happen after recovering from cancer is falling into depression.
“This happens mainly because of the physical changes that occur after treatment.
“For chemotherapy for instance, it generally weakens the body and breaks down the immune system, leaving the patient vulnerable to other diseases and infections.
“Every kind of surgery requires post-surgery care to minimise risks of infection or tearing of muscles in areas operated upon,’’ he said.
He noted that it was important for those who survived cancer to take good care of themselves so as to reduce the chances of recurrence.
“We have heard cases of individuals developing cancer even after being cured.
“For some, it could be bad lack while for others it’s simply because they exposed themselves to conditions that triggered recurrence,’’ he noted.
Adekanbi also stressed that cancer is physically and emotionally draining and “it’s important that sufferers continue to attend meetings of support groups and keep in touch with family and friends.’’
He recommended healthy diets and positive lifestyles as two major ways to stave off cancer after treatment.
“Most cancer treatments weaken the immune system. A healthy diet is the most important way to ensure that your body bounces back without other complications.
“Exercise is very important. Not only is this a good way of clearing your mind, but also a good way to build muscles and maintain healthy physique.
“Taking time to sleep and relax clears the mind and also gives the body time to rest and recover without much strain.
“As much as survivors are trying to regain weight and return to a healthy body mass it’s important to regulate weight gain and be sure the body mass index is good,’’ the health expert said.
He warned that excessive consumption of alcohol could lead to liver cancer, noting that with regular check-ups a doctor would advise on what to do to treat any infections and monitor other body functions.’’,
Adekanbi said that considering that a person’s immune system weakens after cancer treatment, staying away cancer-causing substances was very important.
The 2020 edition of the Cancer Week hosted by the Federal Ministry of Health has “Cancer in Nigeria in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond’’ as its theme.