Mouth Cancer is preventable – Nigerian Professor

Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan

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 A Professor of Oral Pathology at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Professor Bamidele M. Kolude, has stated that the trials and tribulations of mouth cancers are preventable.
Kolude said this is achievable with regular oral screening processes, accurate early diagnosis with appropriate equipment and manpower, and the inclusion of molecular targeted therapies that offer a better treatment outcome than the conventional combination therapy for mouth cancers.


He stated this in an inaugural lecture titled: “The trial and tribulations of Orofacial Cancers: Will Molecular Targeted Therapy Triumph?”, delivered at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan.


Professor Kolude disclosed that there is no known cause for oral cancer but identified risk factors such as tobacco, alcohol consumption, crack cocaine, low socio-economic status, and occupational exposure to radiation as some likely causes.


He, therefore, advised that individuals should do daily self-examination for lump or colour change in their mouths, go for check up at the dental clinic and visit a dentist every six months to have a professional checkup.



The inaugural lecturer said lifestyle changes that prevent social risk habits such as tobacco use (either as smoke, snuff, or chew), sedentary lifestyle, occupational exposures, or consumption of high risk diets should be discouraged, while consumption of food rich in antioxidants such as fruits, vegetables, phyto-nutrients, fibres and regular active exercise should be encouraged.


He called for a downward review of the cost of investigations and treatment of precancerous and cancerous lesions in health facilities and the inclusion of all cancer care under the National Health Insurance Scheme.


Kolude also suggested that a National Cancer Institute should be made available in each of the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, saying the centres would advance community campaigns on awareness of early symptoms and signs of cancers and also have functional, well equipped molecular laboratories.



Professor Kolude’s lecture was the 519th inaugural lecture of the University of Ibadan. It was delivered on behalf of the Faculty of Dentistry.
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