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Screening for cancer: Understanding the basics

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When it comes to cancer, people have many questions but unfortunately, the answers aren’t always clear. However, learning the basics can help in detecting the deadly ailment in its early stages and dealing with it accordingly.
Cancer screening is an important tool in the prevention of cancers in general because when abnormally proliferated tissue or cancer is found early, it becomes much easier and less costly to treat.
Dr Emmanuel Rudakemwa, an associate professor of radiology and imaging sciences at Oshen King Faisal Hospital, says that screening is an available tool used to make sure that the population at risk is checked with the purpose to detect cancers early as this helps people live longer and relatively stable.
With no particular cause of cancer yet certain, some cancers have increased likelihood risks of occurrence, this makes screenings very important.
Cancer screening has all the benefits related to individuals, family, social and nationwide importance, Prof Rudakemwa, says.
Screenings allow medics to see anomalies in the body that can be then tested for cancer. They also help detect early stage cancers, which makes it easier to treat.
“Prevention is better than cure and when it comes to non-communicable diseases and cancers in general, you encourage people to take care of their bodies,” he adds.
With the ever increasing cancer concern, cancer screenings are of great importance, however, not all cancers can be screened.
So which cancers can be screened and when?
BREAST CANCER
Rudakemwa notes that with breast cancer, screening is done by mammography.
“There is something we call a triple test which includes: clinical breast exam, breast ultrasound and then mammography, this increases the sensitivity and specificity to detect the cancer,” he explains.
Breast cancer screenings are usually done for women aged 35 years and above.
COLON CANCER
This is cancer of the colon or rectum, located at the digestive tract’s lower end. It affects both men and women though there is more relative dominance to men than women.
Rudakemwa says that this kind of cancer can be screened from the rectum (the final section of the large intestine) to the cecum (the beginning of the large intestine) and it is done for people aged 40 years and above, unless there are other medically indicated risk factors.
“We do colonoscopies, a procedure in which a flexible fibre-optic instrument is inserted through the anus in order to examine the colon. We can also do virtual CT colonoscopy and fortunately, we have that technology available here at Oshen King Faisal and a few other hospitals in Rwanda. Through the screening, we check your entire large bowel for any lesions,” he explains.
LUNG CANCER
Screening for this cancer is particularly done for the people that have high risks, that is, those who smoke.
“We are lucky most of the insurances are now accepting screening, people need to know this.
“For lung cancer screening, it is done for people aged 40 years and above and it can be done in so many ways, for example, chest X-ray and CT scan, where we are able to see the lungs and notice if there are any nodules. We also have computer aided techniques that enable us to see very small nodules, and if you detect them early, you are able to deal with them early enough, the professor says.
CERVICAL CANCER
The Pap smear is one of the most reliable and effective cancer screening tests for cervical cancers.
“In our set up, cervical cancers contribute to the highest burden of disease and the major cause of morbidity and mortality. But we are very lucky that we are able to fight this cancer through targeted screening and through extensive vaccination programme available in our country.”
It is advisable to go for check-ups between the ages of 35 and 65, and these should be done at least once in two years.
PROSTATE CANCER
It is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in African men.
It also has a genetic predisposition, for example, if a father had prostate cancer then a son should beware of the risks, always be vigilant and get checked, Rudakemwa notes.
It is also screened from age 40 and above. Screening is done through prostate specific antigen (an antigen detected in blood).
“There is a certain threshold at which we say that this is highly suspicious, we also combine this with a digital rectal examination, where you feel the prostate, and as you are touching or feeling the prostate, you know that it is not in a good state,” he says.
Rudakemwa also says that they can do a transrectal ultra sound and an MRI, which are both techniques and technologies available in Rwanda.
“All these procedures can act as screening measures but they can as well guide in the diagnosis,” he says.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD ONE GO FOR SCREENING?
With our current national non communicable disease control plan, we advise an annual breast mammography and cervical cancer screening, bi-annual colorectal, lung and prostate check.
“There is, however, no compulsory number of times like it is in the developed world.
“Screening for all these cancers is possible and done at Oshen King Faisal because we are well-equipped to provide the services.”
RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH SCREENING
The risks are there but when one considers the benefits, it is important to opt for screening.
“Let’s say, for instance, with breast cancer, a mammography is risky because we use x-rays to generate images and radiation which can affect tissues.
“I can tell you that as a person who deals with people with cancer, it is best to opt for early screening because it’s only then that the cancer will be detected and doctors could be able to administer appropriate treatment and improve the outcome,” he says.

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Snoring dangerous for women: New study

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A new study says both snoring and obstructive sleep apnea could lead to earlier impairment of cardiac function in women.
“Snoring” refers to a sleeping pattern in which a person breathes while emitting a snorting or grunting sound.
Although, the National Sleep Foundation suggests that 90 million people in the United States snore, snoring might become more dangerous as people age, and it can also lead to heart disease, especially for women.
There are different types of sleep apnea, but the most common is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). At least 18 million U.S. adults have sleep apnea.
This condition affects breathing patterns while sleeping, causing a person to stop breathing and start again repeatedly. About half of people who snore loudly have OSA.
When OSA occurs, the muscles in the throat that are responsible for keeping the airway open actually prevent the flow of air.
According to a new study presented recently at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America — held in Chicago, IL — snoring and OSA may lead to earlier impairment of cardiac function in women than in men.
It is unclear whether or not sleep apnea directly causes heart disease, but some specialists believe that people with sleep apnea are at risk of developing hypertension, or high blood pressure.
Many people who have sleep apnea also have co-existing diseases. This is one of the reasons why it is harder to establish a direct link between sleep apnea and heart disease.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), some people living with sleep apnea and high blood pressure who received treatment for sleep apnea also saw their blood pressure drop. Such findings show a possible link between hypertension and sleep apnea.
OSA is also associated with obesity, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
Obesity contributes to sleep apnea, and the sleep deprivation that sleep apnea causes can give rise to further obesity, in the long-term. As a person gains more weight, the throat muscles that keep the airway open relax, and sleep apnea becomes more serious.
The researchers analyzed data associated with cardiac parameters in relation to diagnosed OSA and self-reported snoring using data from the UK Biobank.
The UK Biobank is an international health resource, open to researchers, that aims to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases.
The data were of 4,877 participants who had received a cardiac MRI scan. The scientists divided them into three groups: those with OSA, those with self-reported snoring, and those with neither.
When the researchers compared the snoring group with the group without sleep disorders, they found a striking difference in the left ventricular mass in women compared with men.
Increased left ventricular mass means that the heart needs to work harder to fulfil the body’s needs.
These patterns in people who self-reportedly snore may be an indication of undiagnosed OSA.
“We found that the cardiac parameters in women appear to be more easily affected by the disease and that women who snore or have OSA might be at greater risk for cardiac involvement.”
The researchers also found that the number of diagnosed OSA cases in the study was extremely low, suggesting that OSA may be underdiagnosed across the board.
Dr. Curta, a radiology resident at Munich University Hospital in Germany, urges people who snore to get screened for OSA and those with OSA to seek treatment.
“I would encourage people who snore to ask their partner to observe them and look for phases during sleep when they stop breathing for a short while and then gasp for air,” says Dr. Curta.
“If unsure, they can spend the night at a sleep lab where breathing is constantly monitored during sleep and even slight alterations can be recorded.”
The team now hopes to conduct more research to fully understand the sex differences linked to snoring and OSA.

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Kaduna launches multi media campaign on infant feeding

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The Kaduna State government is partnering with Alive and Thrive foundation, A&T to launch a multi media campaign to improve Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices in the State.
The campaign was designed to create attitudinal and behavioural change amongst parents and care givers on IYCF practices.
During the launch, the State governor’s wife, Hajiya Aisha said the campaign, tagged “Start Strong’’ was designed to give a child a chance for a better future and quality life.
According to her, “that poor knowledge about early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding and appropriate complementary feeding has remained a major challenge in the fight against malnutrition in the State. Hence, this multi media campaign to create the needed knowledge on IYCF to increase demand for nutrition services”.
She said trainings would be organised for journalist particularly on IYCF messages that could equip them with the needed information for the campaign.
The Governor’s wife said journalists had earlier received trainings on issues around nutrition and malnutrition and the situation in the State.
State Team Leader, Alive and Thrive, Mr Christopher Musa stated that, without the mass media, the fight against malnutrition cannot be achieved.
“That is why we are mobilising the media to take IYCF messages to all the nook and crannies of the State.
“The idea is to create the needed awareness on best feeding practices that ensures healthy growth and development of the child,” Musa said.
The State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Paul Dogo, described IYCF as a crucial step towards ensuring uninterrupted healthy growth of an infant especially in their first six months of lives.
According to him,“appropriate IYCF practices is key in laying the required foundation for a healthy generation that will take the State to greater heights.”
If we can get mothers to practise early initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding for six months, it will go a long way in preventing malnutrition.”

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UK pledges £50m to help stop FGM in Africa

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A five-year UK aid funded programme will also support in-country projects across Africa focusing on stopping FGM

FGM: BETTER IMAGINED THAN EXPERIENCE

THE UK has made the largest ever donor investment to help end the devastating and harmful practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) by 2030.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt today (Nov 23) announced a new UK aid package to support the African-led movement to end FGM and provide better protections for vulnerable girls in some of the world’s poorest countries.
The announcement comes ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Sunday (Nov 25).
UK aid will provide an extra £50 million – the biggest single investment worldwide to date by any international donor – to tackle this issue across the most affected countries in Africa.
Evidence shows the work of the grassroots activists and survivors, who have built the largest-ever movement to end FGM, has had results. Thousands of communities across Africa are abandoning the practice, and many countries now have legal frameworks in place and provide women and girls with protection and care services.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “Somewhere in the world, every seven seconds, a girl is at risk of FGM. Inspirational, courageous African women are leading efforts to end the practice in their own countries, and thanks to them, more communities are starting to abandon the practice.
“But progress is at a critical juncture and we must work to protect the millions of girls that are still at risk of being cut. We also can’t end FGM in the UK without ending it globally.
“I am proud UK aid is supporting the growing Africa-led movement against FGM and empowering women and girls in some of the world’s poorest countries to stand against the practice. Together, we can build a safer, healthier and more prosperous world for every child.”
DFID will work with governments to get laws in place banning FGM; work with religious leaders to call for an end to FGM and dispel the myth that it is a religious practice – a major barrier in many countries; and support doctors, midwives and nurses to help end FGM and care for survivors.
A five-year UK aid funded programme will also support in-country projects across Africa focusing on prevention, protection, education and legislation to stop FGM. It will do this by training advocates and leaders to talk to women, men, girls and boys in their communities about FGM. The programme will also educate people about the impact FGM has on young girls, through workshops, dramas and community discussion groups. It will also call on communities to no longer carry out the practice.

 

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Mrs Obiano Initiates Another Round Of Free Prosthetic Limbs Distribution To Physically Challenged Persons

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The Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ), a non-governmental organization of Wife of the State Governor Dr. (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano is inviting physically challenged persons who are in need of prosthetic Limbs otherwise known as Artificial limbs to come for the measurement of their sizes before fitting.
The exercise will hold between Wednesday and Friday this week at Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre Awka between seven o’clock in the morning and five o’clock in the evening daily.
A statement from the Office of the Governor’s wife made available to the ABS said that the prosthetic limbs are free and only those whose measurements were taken would be invited for the prosthetic fitting.

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FGM: BETTER IMAGINED THAN EXPERIENCE

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FGM: BETTER IMAGINED THAN EXPERIENCE

By Funke Fayemi,

 

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Over 1.5m citizens Benefit From Oyo Free Health Programmes — Ajimobi

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Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has disclosed that over 1.5million people have so far benefited from the administration’s free health programmes across the state from 2012 till date.
The governor disclosed this during a visit by a delegation from UK-based Jesus House Mission; officials of the Access to Basic Medical Care Foundation (ABC), led by the Founder and wife of the governor, Chief Florence Ajimobi; and state health ministry officials.

…2500 more set to benefit as UK-based health mission arrives the state.

The team had visited the governor preparatory to the commencement of a five-day free health services, starting from Monday and targeted at 2500 beneficiaries across the state for the period.
With the support of ABC, Ajimobi said that many people suffering from minor to major ailments, including surgeries have been attended to under the free health mission in the last six years.
The governor said, “This is the first time since 2012 when we started the free health mission that we are having a team of Nigerians in the Diaspora giving us support. This is very commendable.

“It is pertinent to inform you that our free health programmes, which berthed in 2012, have covered 1.5million people in the state, including the local communities. The coverage spanned various ailments from minor to major, as well as surgeries.
“The support Jesus House Mission is giving us today will go down in history of healthcare in Oyo State, just as the ABC has done in the area of preventing deaths through cervical cancer through collaboration with the state government.”

…2500 more set to benefit as UK-based health mission arrives the state.

The leader of the delegation from the Mission, Dr Agu Irukwu, said that the programme was billed to complement the efforts by the state government in combating health conditions.
He said that the JHM was inspired to support the government in acknowledgment of what he called its noteworthy efforts to bring healthcare to the doorstep of the ordinary citizen.
Apart from free medical examinations, distribution of drugs and free eye glasses, he said that the team came to the state with over 1000 birth kits for pregnant women.
Irukwu said, “We are here because it gives us an opportunity to support the great work the state government is doing in the health sector.

…2500 more set to benefit as UK-based health mission arrives the state.

“We must also commend another partner in the health sector which is ABC, among others, for taking care of our people especially on prostate cancer, which is the second common cause of death in the world today.
“We will be giving birth kits to over 1000 pregnant women within the five days of this programme like we did in other African countries and some states in Nigeria.”
Communication Team
Governor’s Office
Ibadan

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Aisha Buhari reiterates support for women and children

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The wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari has pledged to continue championing the cause of women and children in Nigeria.
She made the pledge during an event to mark the 3rd anniversary of the Future Assured Programme at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Saturday night.

Mrs. Buhari was happy that the programme, which is her pet project, has made such giant strides within a short time, and thanked partners that have made it possible.
Objectives
She spoke of the programme’s engagement in addressing the deteriorating health status of women, youth and children, working to reduce the rate of maternal, neonatal and child mortality.
Mrs Buhari quoted nutrition, lack of health education, lack of clean drinking water and poverty as the culprits; leading the programme to provide clean drinking water, nutrition supplements and health screening exercises against killer diseases like breast and cervical cancer, diabetes, kidney disease and hypertension in many parts of the country. She also spoke of interventions in deworming children.
Speaking on the programme’s involvement in empowerment, Mrs. Buhari said poverty had to be tackled through deliberate programmes to develop entrepreneurial skills and provide women and youth with working tools.
She mentioned rice mills, fish dryers, and groundnut extruders as well as grinding mills, sewing machines, rickshaws and spaghetti makers. Mrs. Buhari also spoke on the effort of the programme in the protection of human rights of women and children against abuse, violence and rape as well as supporting surgeries and advocacy on conditions like intersex and hydrocephalus.
Mrs. Buhari said the event recognizes that many Nigerians “are working to change lives like the programme is doing and need to be emulated.”
Some of those recognized and honoured include Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari, a police officer, for uncommon dedication to duty, Ruona Meyer, a Journalist for producing a documentary on Codeine, leading to its ban, Tobore Ovuorie, for her report on human trafficking. Corporate organizations like FlexiSAF Foundation were also honoured for innovation and social service.

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Kebbi Govt. Absorbs 40 New Medical Doctors into Civil Service

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The Kebbi Government has absorbed 40 new medical doctors from the Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto, Sudan and Indian universities into the state’s civil service.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Atiku Bagudu, Alhaji Muazu Dakingari on Tuesday in Kebbi, said the new doctors have been automatically absorbed into the state civil service.

He said that the state government had distributed 40 laptops computers to them to serve as a source of motivation to them.

Dakingari quoted the governor as saying that the state government would sustain the provision of scholarship to students to study in any part of the world to attain excellence.
He said that the training and retraining of those in service would also be sustained.

“The government has begun searching for English speaking University in China where students of the state could be sent to study in pursuance of quality education,” he said. (NAN)

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NAFDAC confiscates 100 cartons of expired zero Coke in Katsina

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The National Agency for Food Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) in Katsina State, on Monday confiscated about 100 cartons of expired beverage drink at a super market in Katsina metropolis.
The state director of NAFDAC, Mr John Agada, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Katsina.
“NAFDAC received a complaint from a consumer that a particular super market was selling expired zero coke.
“When we visited the super market, our officers found several cartons of Zero coke, which date of best use is June, 2018.
“By implication, it means that all the cartons of the zero coke are harmful and dangerous to the consumers and the owner of the super market was still in business selling the expired coke.
“NAFDAC officers immediately impounded the cartons of zero coke as the best day for drinking them had expired.” he said.
Agada called on members of the public in the State to always look at the expiring date of any bottle of soft drink before consumption.
He warned owners and operators of super markets and provision stores to always check purchased items to avoid selling expired products to unsuspecting members of the public.
“Anybody caught selling expired items will face the full wrath of the law,” he said,


nan

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Volunteering at ECWA Hospital Egbe

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Peter Gregor, MD, serves as a cardiologist in Kentucky. Possessing more than four decades of experience, he is familiar with a wide range of cardiology treatments in outpatient and inpatient settings. An active philanthropist, Peter Gregor, MD, supports multiple organizations, including ECWA Hospital Egbe in Nigeria.
A 75-bed complex, ECWA Hospital Egbe provides a wide range of care at its 33-acre campus. Church groups, individuals, and families are encouraged to volunteer with the organization on a short-term basis through the hospital’s many non-medical opportunities.
Through these volunteer positions, dedicated individuals and groups can provide hands-on support to the hospital’s revitalization project, community development efforts, and hospital development efforts. The hospital seeks volunteers of all skills, including carpenters, general maintenance personnel, mechanics, plumbers, and roofers. Volunteers with organizational skills are also welcome.
People with medical experience can volunteer at ECWA Hospital Egbe through either a short-term or post-residency program offered by World Medical Mission. Short-term volunteer opportunities are designed to give Protestant dentists, physicians, and other medical professionals the chance to volunteer for at least two weeks. Meanwhile, the post-residency program is designed to give post-resident physicians a chance to work alongside a team of Nigerian physicians and mentors for at least two years.


Peter Gregor MD
Dr. Peter Gregor practices in Owensboro, Kentucky, consulting in inpatient and outpatient settings, & performs stress tests, echocardiograms, and stress echoes.

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Ogene Anuka Aguleri

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