• Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

The lack of radiotherapy service, one of the challenges encountered for cancer treatment in Burundi


Feb 23, 2022

BUJUMBURA February 23rd (ABP) – Oncologist Jean de Dieu Ndiyumvira who works in the cancer department at Kinindo Medical and Surgical Center (CMCK), told the press, during the celebration of the World Day for the Fight against Cancer, 2022 edition, on February 18th, 2022 in Bujumbura, that cancer is a public health problem in Burundi.

He reported that since 2020, the cancer service is initiated by Dr. Alexis Manirakiza where 847 patients were received in the outpatient department. Cancer-treated patients are estimated at 289 cases including 49 children and 240 adults.

According to Dr. Ndiyumvira, for adults, frequent pathologies include breast cancer, which occupies 1/3 of patients and is also present in men, leukemia cancer, cervical cancer.

For children, frequent pathologies are Burkitt’s lymphoma and yolk sac tumors.

Among the challenges encountered, Oncologist Ndiyumvira points out the delay in diagnosis. He also underlined the lack of radiotherapy service which should normally accompany chemotherapy, arguing that it is one of the most effective cancer-treatment therapies. He added that cancer patients who need radiation therapy are forced to seek treatment abroad.

The oncology specialist did not forget to point out that cancer patients should benefit from a sufficiently balanced diet to facilitate the drugs to do their job well. He added that for children, if their nutritional status is strong, lymphomas heal easily.

For the symptoms and causes of cancer, that health professional explains that the symptoms differ from one patient to another and according to the type of cancer. He specifies that the symptoms depend on the location of the disease and the organ that suffers. Despite that, he invited people who see nipple changes, change in breast size or shape, weight loss and jaundice, bone pain, tumor that is not painful, abnormal vaginal bleeding and others, to go and see the doctor in time.

Regarding prevention, he said that there are cancers that can be prevented. He cited cervical cancer where young girls are urged to get vaccinated. Liver cancer especially for hepatitis B can be prevented by receiving the vaccine. According to him, one must also avoid a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, excessive alcoholism, and doing physical activity. He also pointed out that toxic products from industries can be the cause of cancer.

The oncologist suggested that there should be large-scale sensitizations to the general people and to the nursing staff, inviting people to consult the doctor in time.