While globally, only one percent of the breast cancer cases are among men, Mugisha says at the cancer institute, men accounted for seven percent of the over 500 cases of breast Cancer that they recorded last year. Worse, they were all in advanced stages which many times makes them had to treat and get cured.
The study also sought to identify the impact of anthracycline therapy on heart function and reveals the therapy poses dangerous heart problems to cancer patients because it not only affects the heart function directly but also weakens the ability of the heart do adapt other ‘stressors’ later in the life for example, a major operation, pregnancy and chest radiotherapy. Dr. Zhang thereforenotes that clinicians should closely monitor the heart function of cancer patients before and after chemotherapy.
Richard Ekwan, the health educator at Uganda Cancer Institute extends the blame to ignorance about cancer that propels many of its victims to spend money and time in shrines accusing their relatives, friends and neighbors of bewitching them.
This TrueBeam machine which treats about 70 patients on a daily basis is just a year old having been installed in August 2020. It was procured by the government at USD 4 million, and it's more preferred by both doctors and patients than the Cobalt 60.
Senior Oncologist Dr. Fred Okuku said it is difficult for them to ensure that patients completely stay away from alternative medicine and called for developing such medicine and taking them through proper channels to check their safety. He notes that with the effectiveness of the pumpkin, they are pushing to have this studied and documented.
The study comes amid widespread concern that over 80 per cent of the people who develop cancer only get confirmed when it’s irreversibly late. They are now testing the effectiveness of a liquid test or biopsy against the old and commonly used solid biopsy that involves taking a tissue sample directly from within a tumour.
Dr. Joyce Balagadde Kambugu, the head of the pediatric Unit told URN that as the children return after missing treatment for a long time, health workers have had to start reviews afresh and some treatment afresh since they are unaware of the effects the withdrawal has had on the patients.
Uganda adopted the recommendation for the introduction of the at-birth vaccine in 2017, according to Dr. Rachel Beyagira, the Hepatitis B Technical Officer in the Ministry of Health. This has however remained on paper.
Robinson Wece started his operations in July after realizing that the travel ban has affected the lifestyle of many people especially the sick. With clearance from Lira District Health Officer and the UCI, Wece transport patients with referral letters from Lira Regional Referral Hospital and those discharged by UCI to return home.
Dr Nixon Niyonzima, who heads Laboratory Services at the Institute told URN this morning that they have tested about 3,000 samples where those that tested positive were immediately referred to the Mulago Hospital COVID-19 treatment centre. Of the positive, he says, 20 were children.
According to officials from UCI, in the last six months, they have screened only 10 women who were referred from several health centers. Previously, they would screen up to 100 women on a daily basis five days a week
According to doctors from the Uganda Cancer Institute, cancer patients who now test positive for the disease are given a minimum of 14 days to recuperate from COVID-19 before starting or resuming treatment. Such delays will likely lead to an increase in cancer related deaths
Dr. Jackson Orem, Senior Consultant Oncology and UCI Executive Director says the cancer prevention efforts, community sensitization and mobilization must be increased in Uganda to fight against cancer among children.
Balagadde who had for many years worked alone says the institute has been working to improve their human resource especially as they expect to have up to 2000 children reporting annually. Recently they increased nurses in her department from 15 to 23.
The machine, known as the true beam linear accelerator (Linac), is the first of its kind in Africa and has been acquired through a government of Uganda funding amounting to USD 4 million (14.7 billion Shillings). The equipment adds to two already existing Cobalt radiotherapy machines which have been serving up to 150 people each day.
UCI Executive Director Dr. Jackson Orem who received the delegation said this was the second time the ambassador was visiting having last visited two years ago to explore possibilities of Uganda using the country's advancements in cancer care.
She told URN in an interview that her focus at the global body will be highlighting key issues that are unique to Africa which are deterring many children from surviving from cancer. While in many western countries, survival from children cancer is to the highs of 80%, the World Health Organization has set an overall objective to improve survival from all cancers affecting children to 60% by 2030 but Balagadde says in some parts of Africa, survival goes to as low as 10%.
In an interview with URN, Dr. Joyce Balagadde kambugu who heads the childhood cancers department at the UCI said after the study which is currently recruiting participants ends around August next year, they will have a hint on why the country still has more than 50% of children who get cancer die yet the disease is highly curable among children elsewhere.