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23% of women in Nigeria are affected by breast cancer.

LASUTH Receives Breast Cancer Diagnosis Boost With MSKCC MRI

As the world commemorates this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, radiologists and radiographers at the BT Health and Diagnostic Centre at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), have been trained in cancer and diagnosis and treatment by renowned experts from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre (MSKCC), in New York.

The initiative aims to strengthen breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in Nigeria, leveraging the advanced MRI techniques proven effective at MSKCC.

Highlighting the significance of the collaboration, Dr. Jeffrey Reiner of MSKCC said: “We have managed to substantially decrease breast cancer mortality in the United States through these advanced MRI techniques. Our goal is to replicate this success worldwide.”

Reiner said BT Health and Diagnostic Centre is one of the few diagnostic centres in Nigeria that currently offers breast MR, and given its status, MSKCC is keen on partnering with the centre to ensure they are well-versed in the latest diagnostic techniques.

On her part, another eminent radiologist from MSKCC, Dr. Victoria Mango, who commended PPC Limited and the BT Health and Diagnostic Centre for their proactive approach, said: “It is essential that patients receive accurate diagnosis and treatment,” she commented. “This training will go a long way in ensuring that.”

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Mango emphasized the critical role of imaging in breast cancer detection, adding that breast cancer detection relies heavily on the right tools.

“Presently, in some parts of Nigeria, the primary detection method remains a physical exam. This technique necessitates that the tumour be large enough for detection through touch.

“With imaging, the potential to discover cancer when it is still minutes before it can be palpated by a surgeon becomes a reality.”

While ultrasound remains the starting point for many in Nigeria due to its accessibility and cost, the introduction of mammography is the next logical step. MRI, although more expensive, offers unparalleled detail, which can be critical for early detection and successful treatment.

By gradually introducing these modalities, as Dr. Mango suggests, Nigeria can significantly enhance its breast cancer diagnosis and treatment capabilities, potentially saving countless lives.

This collaboration between MSKCC, PPC Limited, and BT Health and Diagnostic Centre is a significant stride towards better healthcare for women in Nigeria and represents a commitment to global health advancements.