Medical/Health Care

Researchers identify barriers to breast cancer treatment

A new study has provided insights into the barriers breast cancer patients face in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.

Findings from the study, titled, ‘Access to care and financial burden for patients with breast cancer in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria’, were presented at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting held in Chicago, IL, United States recently.

The researchers noted that patients’ chances of survival can be impacted by delays in diagnosis and treatment, limitations in access to appropriate and quality cancer care, and financial burdens associated with receiving care.

The co-author of the study, Dr Razaq Oyesegun, a consultant Radiation Oncologist at the National Hospital, Abuja, said, This study is a critical first step to understanding the magnitude of the barriers that Nigerian breast cancer patients face in their fight against this disease, both to improve access to quality cancer treatment and ensure that our patients do not face financial catastrophe while fighting this disease.

In line with global momentum toward Universal Health care, there is a need for policies that improve the standard of care, treatment and increase insurance coverage to ultimately improve outcomes and protect breast cancer patients from financial hardship, Oyesegun said.

The Country Manager, Roche, Dr Hameed Oladipupo, said the study will provide data on the breast cancer patient journey in Nigeria, and importantly, provide direction on what specific changes need to be made to improve outcomes for the patients.

Oladipupo said.

One way that this can be accomplished is through stronger private-private and public-private partnerships geared towards improving access to breast cancer care as no single player can tackle the barriers alone.

When we work together we can increase access and affordability of cancer care and ultimately, improve outcomes for women in Nigeria facing breast cancer,

Source: Voice of Nigeria