Dr Abdul-Warith Akinshipo, a Maxillofacial Pathologist a the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), says that oral cancer is curable.
Akinshipo disclosed this in Lagos on Wednesday during a seminar he convened on oral cancer with the theme as: “Improving Oral Cancer Awareness and Management in Nigeria” with sub theme ‘Artificial Intelligence in Oral Healthcare’.
He said that the seminar was about oral cancer, a debilitating disease, and the survival rate for any patient was very low.
He said that 50 per cent of patients who developed oral cancer would die in five years and what the seminar was trying to do was to raise awareness both in the academic environment and public.
“Most of the patients we see, 80 per cent come with advanced disease; that is, they come with a colossal lesion and tumor, which is avoidable.
“That is what we are trying to tell the public, it is avoidable, preventable and can be detected in time” he said.
Akinshipo, who is also a Senior Lecturer at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos (UNILAG), advised that if anyone had a swelling or something in his mouth for more than two weeks, the person should see a dentist for a check up.
He, however, noted that not all swellings in the mouth were cancers
He said that his inspiration basically about oral cancer was when he lost someone dear to him to oral cancer.
According to him, he is also disturbed by its morbidity.
“That is, patients present when lesion are so advanced, and you begin to wonder why are they bringing it to this time.
He said that oral cancer awareness was poor and there was a need to improve awareness and show people in the community what oral cancer was.
“There is a need to show the community that there is a form of treatment.
“It can be removed and after removal, radiotherapy.”
Earlier, Prof. Wasiu Adeyemo, Chief Medical Director (CMD) LUTH had said that there was no doubt about the fact that the awareness was low.
He said that cancer was the leading cause of death worldwide, and oral cancer consists of between two and 10 per cent of the cases.
He said that unlike many parts of the body that may be hidden, the oral cavity was opened.
Our correspondent reports that the seminar organised by the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Biology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, College of Medicine, UNILAG was in collaboration with the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Hong Kong (HKU), Hong Kong.
It also reports that experts took different sessions on early diagnosis and prevention of oral cancers, current and future strategies, management of oral cancer in Nigeria, experience and challenges.
Other sessions included “Role of artificial intelligence in oral healthcare”, “Artificial intelligence in the detection of OPMDs and oral cancer” and “Introducing artificial intelligence tools for oral cancer susceptibility prediction and detection”.