THE University Teaching Hospitals (UTH) spends over US$8 million per year on treating about 1,600 patients of different types of cancerAbout US$5,000 is spent on treating each cancer patient, with cervical cancer topping the list as the hospital treats over 1,000 patients per year. Cancer Diseases Hospital senior medical superintendent Lewis Banda said in an interview yesterday that the health institution spends about US$5 million on treating 1,000 cervical cancer patients every year.
Dr Banda said the hospital attends to about 250 breast cancer patients and about 300 men visit the health facility for prostate cancer checkups. “Cervical cancer patients are the bulk of people that we see at the hospital. According to the latest globocan projection, we see about 3,000 patients at national level. “But at UTH, we see 1,000 patients for cervical cancer only.
We have about 250 to 300 patients of breast cancer and another 300 of prostate cancer,” he said. Dr Banda urged women to regularly go for cervical cancer screening so that the disease can be detected early. He said pre-cancer conditions take about 10 to 20 years to fully develop into cancer.
Dr Banda said cancer screening through visual inspection enables medical personnel to detect the disease early so that it can be treated. He said the introduction of vaccination against Human Papilloma Virus among 14-year-old girls will help the country prevent cervical cancer.
Dr Banda said prostate cancer is the most common ailment among black men and that the cause of the trend is not yet known. He said there is need to sensitise members of the public so that they become health-conscious and develop good health-seeking habits.
Dr Banda also advised families against abandoning their cancer and other patients at the hospital because it is unZambian. He said it is during times of sickness that the affected people need their families and friends. “We have some cases where families abandon a cancer patient, especially when the disease is in an advanced stage,” Dr Banda said