To find an oncologist in Lagos, Nigeria is, unfortunately, a difficult process. If you have been diagnosed with cancer it is very important to find the right oncologist and cancer centre. The Association of Radiation and Clinical Oncologist of Nigeria is the umbrella body that converges the Radiation Oncologists in Nigeria. Gone are the days when cancer was thought to be a disease of the western world. Today, the rate of cancer is so high that public cancer hospitals are barely coping with the high volume of patients in Nigeria. Thousand of Nigerians travel abroad to seek care for different ailments and cancer ranks high on the list for medical tourism. Medical tourism is a decent option for the minority of patients who can afford it but it doesn’t always translate to better care.
Today, we will share an important tip for receiving cancer care in Nigeria. It is common knowledge that cancer care in Nigeria is complicated and expensive for patients who present to the hospitals. Even though the Government is working towards improving cancer care in Nigerian public hospitals, it is important that people who need these services know how to find it and can afford it.
Linda Oyenusi, a 36-year-old trader, is among the few breast cancer survivors in Nigeria. In her 10th-year post-cancer, treatment-she is simply grateful to be alive and now fulfiling her dreams of entrepreneurship. Though she experienced lots of personal and professional setbacks due to cancer and treatment, she did not allow her circumstances to limit her. Linda volunteered and worked with Sebeccly Cancer Care from 2008 to 2011, a charity that supports women living with breast cancer.
“My favourite task was connecting cancer patients to cancer doctors also called Oncologists. I realized that so many people were scared of visiting public hospitals because of what they had heard or seen. But the truth is, some of the best cancer doctors are trained and practice in public hospitals. In my neighbourhood, people knew I was diagnosed with cancer and anytime someone had a cancer scare, or cancer-related question or had a diagnosis they were referred to me” said Linda. Sometimes I would refer them to Sebeccly Cancer Care, where counselling was done and a referral letter would be written to the Hospital. “Sometimes I would escort people to the cancer clinic and just make them feel at ease”.
My popular advice to anyone diagnosed with cancer is to find the right oncologist.
Below are tips to help you find an oncologist:
- Watch out for some health care professionals claim to be oncologists. Be careful and look for a doctor who treats your particular cancer type. Depending on your treatment plan, you may need a clinical, surgical, and/or radiation oncologist. To make things simple, visit the cancer clinic of any public or government-owned hospital to make enquiries.
- Discuss your Oncologist search needs with family and friends, especially those who have received treatment for cancer or those who are medical inclined.
- Evaluate the doctor’s credentials. Find out whether the doctor received any advanced training. Confirm that he or she is an oncology specialist. You may ask questions such as-Where did you train? What cancers are you skilled at treating? Do you treat particular cancers? ie do you have a speciality? How long have you been in oncology practice?
- Feel free to search for oncologists online but ensure you find them on credible websites such as a cancer hospital or professional association etc. Always do your due diligence.
- If you need help with finding an oncologist in Lagos or in Nigeria, you can chat with us NOW and we will navigate you to a verified oncologist close to you.
- You can also chat with an Oncopadi survivor via the chat forum or book a free video or audio consultation. Sign up or log in and click the consultation button.