Control Cancer Initiative Nigeria (CCIN), a non-governmental organisation, has concluded arrangements to screen 200 high risk men for the quantitative Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) as part of this year’s efforts to mark the “Movember” Male Cancer Awareness Campaign.
The Movember Awareness Campaign is a global annual November Initiative to create awareness and raise funds for men-related health issues such as mental illness, suicide prevention, prostate and testicular cancers.
Speaking on the initiative, the President and Co-founder of CCIN, Sunday Okutachi noted that, whilst cancer has gradually emerged as a formidable disease in Nigeria, CCIN is determined to make a difference. One area is to promote early detection of cancer in men.
“This year, we are screening at least 200 high risk men for prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) at selected locations in the country free of charge as a way of support and to emphasize the importance of early detection.
“We are calling on well-meaning Nigerians to support our mission and be part of the solution to defeating cancer in our country. We also invite both genders to be physically active for the fundraising event. Not only will the commitment raise the much-needed funds, it will also generate life-changing conversations,” he noted.
Decrying the alarming rate of cancer cases in the country, he noted that “with over 100,000 new cancer cases and over 70,000 deaths reported in 2018 by Globocan, cancer has emerged as a major public health emergency in Nigeria and all hands must be on deck to fight it.”
According to him, Nigeria currently has very few comprehensive cancer treatment centers, and these centers still need a lot of work in getting equipped and to meet the international standards of a decent cancer treatment facility, adding that, “we at CCIN are advocating for improvements to these facilities as time goes on”.
Among other things, the organisation has invested resources towards mentoring young Nigerians in cancer research as it aims to promote capacity building in basic research and clinical oncology by supporting cancer prevention, diagnosis treatment and awareness in Nigeria.
The organisation recently accepted over 30 highly talented Nigerian graduates in the life sciences and medicine into its mentorship program where these young scientists will receive a lifetime support on their professional quest to lead in the fight against cancer in Nigeria.