According to the World Health Organisation, early detection of cancer greatly increases the chances for successful treatment and survival. Sadly, in Nigeria, the lack of resources, efficient facilities and misdiagnosis has led to the death of many
Were it not for her relocation to the UK, Nollywood actress, Victoria Inyama may not have survived cancer because it could have been too late.
In a chat with Punch, she shares her ordeal with cancer and the lessons she learnt from it.
It started while I was in Nigeria, I used to have serious pain on the left side of my head, I went to notable hospitals and they used to say I had migraine, they gave me drugs for migraine. None of the hospitals bothered to do a proper MRI scan or anything like that. But when I got married and I had to relocate, it got worse and I had to be checked.
They found out that I had some cancerous growth in my head; that was in 2005. The medics started the treatment almost immediately. I got married in 2003 and relocated in 2004; when they noticed it, I had just got pregnant with my first child. When I got pregnant, the pain subsided.
I had to undergo an emergency surgery in 2006 and waited for the place to heal and by February 2007, the growth was actually blocking somewhere around my left eye and I was almost going blind. The doctors said they had to remove the growth in my head. Apparently what they brought out from my head, they cultured it and they had to call me back and told me it was a cancerous cell. They recommended chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
I snapped back fast after surviving cancer because we have the medical amenities here and there is adequate aftercare and treatment. So it was just left to me to live the right lifestyle in terms of food intake and taking things easy. The whole process of me surviving cancer taught me humility and also to appreciate life more.
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