6 Best Cancer Hospitals in Nigeria; Cancer Types, Causes, Symptoms, Stages, Prevention,Treatment and Cost.
This article is on the 6 best cancer hospitals in Nigeria, as well as the cancer types, the factors that cause cancer, the symptoms of cancer, the stages of cancer, the prevention strategies, then treatment and cost.
We will be providing the information on the list and locations of the best cancer hospitals in Nigeria and the cost of accessing their care and treatment as well as the best cancer information you should have.
What is Cancer?
Cancer, known as malignant neoplasm is the abnormal uncontrolled growth or multiplication of cells in an organ resulting in enlargement of the organ, which if left untreated, can cause death.
It can develop in many organs of the body, but the common ones are cancer of the lungs and bronchus, colon and rectum, breast and prostate, with lung, colon and breast being responsible for 50% of cancer deaths.
Most cancers take the form of tumors (mass of tissue that is not useful to the body). Though, not all tumors are cancerous (Benign tumors). Malignant or cancerous tumors invade, spread and destroy the surrounding tissues, while some are not in form of tumors, for example leukemia (cancer of the blood cells).
Types of Cancer
There are five main types of cancer that are classified according to the types of cells that give rise to them:
arise from epithelia, tissue that cover external body surfaces, line internal tubes and cavities and form the secretory portion of glands, for example- the skin, breast, uterus, prostate, lungs and gastro intestinal tract. They are most common types of cancers.
arise from connective and fibrous tissues, for example- muscle, bones, cartilage and membranes covering muscles and fat.
is a type of cancer that can sometimes develop in the cells that pigment the skin.
- LYMPHOMAS: are cancers of the lymph nodes, part of the body’s infection – fighting system.
- LEUKEMIAS: are cancers of the blood forming cells found in the bone marrow.
Each type has its own pattern of behavior, spread and response to treatment.
6 Best Cancer Hospitals in Nigeria
- University College Hospital Ibadan (UCH)
- Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH)
- Primus Super Specialty Hospital, Abuja
- Lagoon Hospital, Lagos
- St Nicholas Hospital, Lagos
- First Consultants Medical Centre (FCMC), Lagos
University College Hospital (UCH)
Strategically located in Ibadan, then the largest city in West Africa which is also the seat of the first University in Nigeria. The physical development of the Hospital commenced in 1953 in its present site and was formally commissioned after completion on 20 November 1957. The University College Hospital, Ibadan was initially commissioned with 500-bed spaces. Currently, the hospital has 850 bed spaces and 163 examination couches with occupancy rates ranging from 55-60%. The UCH Ibadan is one of the multi-disciplinary comprehensive cancer hospitals in Nigeria.
Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH)
located at Idi-araba Lagos, LUTH has one of the comprehensive cancer hospitals in Nigeria known as NSIA-LUTH Cancer Centre (NLCC).
NLCC commenced operations on the 29th of May, 2019, inside Lagos University Teaching Hospital, a reputable health institution endowed with a skillful workforce.
NLCC is home to medical experts including Clinical and Radiation Oncologists, Medical Physicists, Radiotherapists, and Oncology nurses.
From state-of-the-art equipment for cancer treatments to post-treatment consultation and supportive therapies, NLCC’s team of specialists doctors and nurses are trained to offer comprehensive and compassionate care at every stage of the patient’s journey.
Primus Super Specialty Hospital
Located at 65 Peshe Roa, Karu New Extension , Abuja, FC, Nigeria, 900110. The hospital is a reputed tertiary care provider in Nigeria, established by renowned Primus Super Specialty Hospital, India and is a centre of excellence for Specialized Surgeries.
It is one of the cancer hospitals in Nigeria and has a capacity of 120 beds with modern infrastructure, created and maintained by international standards, and equipped with cutting edge technology.
The expert team of excellent specialists as well as support staff along with the world-class facility system available at the hospital makes it highly sought-out hospital for patients not only in Nigeria but from abroad as well.
Located at 17 B Bourdillon Road Ikoyi , Lagos, LA, Nigeria, 101233. It is a leading private healthcare service provider, established in 1986 by Hygeia Group with an aim to provide international quality of clinical care.
The hospital, with an experience of more than 30 years, has constantly invested in updating their technology and skills, and is recognized as one of the best tertiary care provider in Nigeria.
It is one of the cancer hospitals in Nigeria as well as the first hospitals in Sub-Saharan region to be accredited and reaccredited by Joint Commission International (JCI), which certifies that the high quality specialty services provided here.
The hospital is renowned to be the first private hospital in Nigeria to successfully perform open-heart surgery and offers multi-disciplinary services in major specialties including orthopedics & Trauma, General Surgery, Critical Care, Medical & Surgical Oncology, Urology, Cardiology, Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pediatrics.
St Nicholas Hospital
Ranks high among the cancer hospitals in Nigeria, located at 57, Campbell Street, Lagos Island , Lagos, LA, Nigeria, 101231 St. Nicholas is a leading multi-specialty tertiary care providing hospital in Nigeria, providing healthcare services to all the patients in its outpatient, inpatient and emergency care facilities.
The hospital offers impeccable clinical care in its state-of-the-art facility with contemporary infrastructure and a team of highly trained medical professionals.
St. Nicholas Hospital being a forerunner healthcare centre is renowned for its achievements like being the first private hospital to establish a dialysis and kidney transplant unit in Africa. Also recognized for performing first pediatric kidney transplant in West Africa.
The hospital takes pride in proclaiming that the Transplant center has conducted 160 successful kidney transplant and dialysis for over 3724 patients.
First Consultants Medical Centre (FCMC), Lagos
Located at 16-24 Ikoyi Road, St. Gregory’s College Road, Obalende , Lagos, LA, Nigeria, 101233. First Consultants Medical Centre (FCMC) is a renowned multi-disciplinary private medical facility in Nigeria, established in 1982 by Dr Benjamin Nnamdi Ohiaeri.
FCMC is a dedicated set-up offering a range of healthcare services in multitude of specialties including gynaecology & obstetrics, paediatrics and neonatology, internal medicine and general surgery.
The facility is one of the cancer hospitals in Nigeria and has over 30 years of experience, and is an acknowledged centre for providing timely and reliable treatment to numerous patients including former presidents of Nigeria, and the expatriate community in Nigeria.
FCMC houses a number of medical professionals including skilled and qualified consultants and specialists along with trained support staff to provide high standard of quality clinical care.
Free Cancer treatment Centres in Nigeria
There is no free comprehensive cancer treatment in any of the cancer hospitals in Nigeria. However, there are centres that offer some free cancer services as determined by the supports and resources available to them. Consequently, most government tertiary hospitals offer free breast and cervical cancer screening. Beyond that, there are other forms of public and private health insurance packages that offer subsidized cancer treatment across the country.
Causes of Cancer and Risk Factors
The quest to demystify the causes of cancer is on the increase as a lot of questions are yet to be answered. The main cause of cancer is not known but the following are attributed as risk factors:
- Heredity: This is due to an inherited fault of the absences or impairment of a gene P35 that controls normal cell division in the It causes about 5-10% of cancers.
- Ageing: As one grows older, there is accumulation or build-up of cancer risks and less cellular repair mechanism which increase cancer risks.
- Infection with certain viruses, bacteria and parasites; for example- Oncovirus like human papiloma virus, hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus, halicobacter pyloric bacteria that causes gastric cancer and the parasite blood flukes (schistosomia haematobium) implicated in cancer of the bladder.
- Diet low in fruits and vegetables and high in fat and salt.
- Drugs: Abuse of hormonal drugs for example- oral contraceptives implicated in breast cancer and multivitamins linked with prostate
- Obesity/Lack of exercise, as they encourage fat deposits in the body which is also a risk factor.
- Heavy alcohol intake of more than one bottle for women and two bottles for men per day. Those below 35 years of age has no benefits from alcohol and therefore should abstain from it. Much alcohol is linked with cancers of the mouth, throat and liver.
- Smoking cigarette chewing and snuffing tobacco.
- Work-related exposure to harmful chemicals like asbestors and paints.
- Radiation from excessive x-rays, mobile phones and electric power transmissions.
- Air pollution with smoke and fumes.
Signs and Symptoms of cancer
Cancer may not have symptoms at the early stage. However, the American Cancer Society uses the word CAUTION to note the seven warning signs of cancer:
- Change in bowel or bladder habits.
- A sore that does not heal.
- Unusual bleeding or discharge.
- Thickening or lumps in breast or elsewhere.
- Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing
- Obvious change in wart or mole
- Nagging cough or hoarseness.
Other symptoms may include unexplained weight loss of about 4 or 5 kg pain, vertigo, poor sight, etc.
What are the four Stages of Cancer
The stages of cancer is referred to as the size of tumor and how far it has spread to other parts of the body from where it originated. The extent and severity of the spread by size and location are categorized into four stages, namely;
“Stage 1: Cancer is localized to a small area and has not spread to lymph nodes or other tissues.
Stage 2: Cancer has grown, but it has not spread.
Stage 3: Cancer has grown larger and has possibly spread to lymph nodes or other tissues.
Stage 4: Cancer has spread to other organs or areas of your body. This stage is also referred to as metastatic or advanced cancer.”
How to Diagnose Cancer
Diagnosis starts with a visit to any of the caner hospitals in Nigeria for a confidential dialogue between the patient and Care provider. The dialogue is centered on the understanding the signs and symptoms as well as the location and size of the tumor. A comprehensive physical/clinical examination would be conducted to determine the stage and mode interventions required. Other investigations that may be required are;
- Blood tests.
- Urine tests.
- CT (computed tomography) scans.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Treatment of Cancer
Cancer treatment is usually personalized in accordance with the findings by the medical team in any of the cancer hospitals in Nigeria. The treatment plan is designed to address the peculiarity of the diagnosis. The plan may include:
- Radiation therapy
- Hormone therapy
- Biological response modifier therapy
- Bone marrow transplant
How to prevent Cancer
Most cancers can be prevented by changes in diet and lifestyle, hence:
- Don’t smoke or stop smoking, chewing and snuffing tobacco.
- Stop much intake of alcohol.
- Eat more of fruits and vegetables and loss of fat and salt.
- Reduce weight through exercise and diet.
- Immunize against cancer-causing virus at designated cancer hospitals in Nigeria.
- Don’t abuse drugs.
- Control work-place hazards.
- Avoid long exposure to sun light.
- Avoid risky behavior
- “Get enough vitamin D. Many experts now recommend 800 to 1,000 IU a day, a goal that’s nearly impossible to attain without taking a supplement. Although protection is far from proven, evidence suggests that vitamin D may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer, colon cancer, and other malignancies. But don’t count on other supplements.”
How to reduce Cancer burden
- Know about the causes, prevention and treatment of the disease.
- Visit any of the cancer hospitals in Nigeria and report symptoms early as early detection saves life.
- Modify and avoid risk factors.
- Adhere to medical advice.
- Have a confidential dialogue with a Counselor or Confidant.
“In Nigeria, an estimated 72,000 cancer deaths occur annually, and 102,000 new cases are diagnosed from its population of 200 million people.” Moreover, this high volume of new cases can not be handled effectively due to inadequate cancer hospitals in Nigeria.
Frequently asked questions
Is cancer a disease of old people or young people?
It affects people of all ages though the risk increases with age.
Is cancer curable?
It can be cured if detected early.
Are all tumors cancer?
Not all tumors are cancerous, but all tumors must be reported to the doctor and investigated
- University College Hospital Ibadan (UCH) https://uch-ibadan.org.ng/
- Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) https://www.nhdic.ng/facility/nlcc/
- Primus Super Specialty Hospital, Abuja https://www.lyfboat.com/hospital/172-primus-super-speciality-hospital/
- Lagoon Hospital, Lagos https://www.lyfboat.com/hospital/171-lagoon-hospital-/
- St Nicholas Hospital, Lagos https://www.lyfboat.com/hospital/174-st-nicholas-hospital/
- First Consultants Medical Centre (FCMC), Lagos https://www.lyfboat.com/hospital/175-first-consultants-medical-centre-fcmc/
- Cleveland Clinic. Symptoms & warning Signs of Cancer https://my.clevelandclinic.org/departments/cancer/patient-education/wellness-prevention/warning-signs
- Cleveland Clinic. Cancer https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12194-cancer
- Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School. The 10 commandments of cancer prevention. https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/the-10-commandments-of-cancer-prevention
- NCBI. 10-Year Mortality Pattern Among Cancer Patients in Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7735062/
- Health Education unit, Clinical Services department, Federal Medical Centre Owerri. Cancer Awareness: Dispelling Cancer Myths.