APCC partners Nigeria on capacity building, health tourism

Apollo Proton Cancer Centre (APCC), a Proton therapy centre based in South Asia, Middle East and India is set to partner with Nigeria on capacity building to boost health tourism .

The Deputy General Manager, International Market Apollo hospital Mr Amit Chaturvedi, while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, said it became necessary because new cases of cancer in Nigeria is estimated at 119,000.

He said out of the 119,000 cancer cases, 71,000 cases are female while 41,000 are male, adding that 23,000 is breast cancer cases .

He explained that the partnership is to exchange knowledge with Nigerian doctors about cancer care and to mark a foot in the Nigerian market.

Also, Senior Consultant Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Sapna Nangia, while speaking on the Proton Beam Therapy, said it is a radiation therapy that uses tiny particles called protons as excellent cancer cell killers.

She explained that a higher dose of radiation can be targeted at the tumour without affecting many normal healthy cells, adding that the therapy can be effective in treating tumours of the brain, head and neck, central nervous system, lung, prostate, and gastrointestinal system.

She said Proton therapy is often the preferred option for treating solid tumours in children because protons can be controlled precisely so there is less radiation to normal tissues, help prevent serious complications and lessen the chance of secondary tumours.

According to her, Proton Therapy has multiple advantages that target tumours and cancer cells with precision and minimal exit dose thus reducing overall toxicity.

“It also reduces the probability and/or severity of short-and long-term side effects on surrounding healthy tissues and organs. It is favourable in treating recurrent tumours, even in patients who have already received radiation,” she said.

Commenting on the therapy and its uses, Dr. Sapna said, “Proton Therapy has emerged as an excellent treatment modality for a number of cancers. One of the most common sites being treated at the Apollo Proton Cancer Centre is cancers of the head and neck.

“Patients undergoing Proton Therapy have significantly less discomfort during and after treatment and are less likely to require hospital admission, tube feeding, or treatment interruption.

“In patients with tumours involving the skull base, Protons improve the safety of critical organs like the visual pathway and the brain stem,” she said.

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