An oral pathologist, Professor Bamidele Kolude says low-income and disadvantaged groups are more exposed to avoidable risk factors of mouth cancers.
Kolude stated this in Ibadan on Thursday, while delivering the 519th inaugural lecture on behalf of Faculty of Dentistry, University of Ibadan.
The lecture is titled “The Trial and Tribulation of Orofacial Cancers: Will Molecular Targeted Therapy Triumph?” Prevention of Mouth Cancers.
He said the overall global goal of cancer prevention and control was to reduce the incidence and mortality of cancer and to improve the quality of life of cancer patients and their families.
“Although the existing body of knowledge about cancer prevention, treatment and palliative care is extensive, much still needs to be known in many aspects notably in etiology and prevention”.
Participants at 519th inaugural lecture, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Ibadan
He identified factors such as environmental carcinogens, alcohol, infectious agents and tobacco use as avoidable risks affecting low-income and disadvantaged groups.
“These groups also have less access to the health services and health education that would empower them to make decisions to protect and improve their health.
“National cancer control programmes will help policymakers and managers to make the most effective use of available meagre resources to the whole population by taking a balanced approach to evidence-based intervention.
“Prevention is often the most long-term strategy for cancer control. Furthermore, cancer preventive measures also contribute to the prevention of other chronic diseases that share the same risk factor,” Kolude said.
The don said the trials and tribulations of mouth cancers were preventable with regular oral screening processes, accurate early diagnosis with appropriate equipment and manpower.
He added that with the inclusion of molecular targeted therapies, there were better treatment outcomes than the conventional combination therapy for mouth cancers.
Kolude called for health education and motivation of the masses through mass media about the risk factors, early signs and symptoms as well as available care for oral cancer.