Chemotherapy is the chemical treatment to kill or halt the replication and/or spread of cancerous cells in a patient.
Cancer is being seen as one of the deadliest chronic diseases in the world today. While the cause of the disease is yet to be known, there is much to be hopeful about in terms of the treatment.
According to researchers and medical practitioners, chemotherapy has been highlighted as an effective way to curb the spread of cancer, or in some cases, fully cure the disease in a patient.
Although this comes as good news, getting a full Chemotherapy session can be quite expensive. In this article, we will take a look at the cost of chemotherapy in Nigeria.
Cost of chemotherapy in Nigeria
You may have been wondering, what is the cost of Chemotherapy in Nigeria?
Well, the cost of chemotherapy in Nigeria depends on some core factors, which include the drug used for and during the treatment and the number of sessions during the entire treatment. In addition, there are different kinds of chemotherapy treatments, which are based on the kind of cancer to be treated. These and more factors have effects on the overall cost of chemotherapy in Nigeria.
On average, the cost of chemotherapy in Nigeria varies between N600, 000 – N1.5 million depending on the duration, package, and type of cancer being treated. In addition, the drugs for chemotherapy cost between N100, 000 and N250, 000, still depending on the kind of cancer being treated. Chemotherapy for ovarian and breast cancers are usually quite expensive and depending on the level, can be more expensive than other common cancer types. It is usually difficult to estimate how much patients will spend during the chemotherapy because the cost might increase and, in some cases, decrease with time, depending on the patient’s response to the treatment.
In addition, the cost of chemotherapy in Nigeria depends upon the type of drugs used for cancer treatment. If the drug prescribed is not expensive, then the cost will be moderately lower. If the drugs used are expensive, then there is a high tendency the cost of the treatment will be much higher too.
The cost of chemotherapy in Nigeria also depends on the degree of cancer and the rate at which the cancerous cells have spread in the patient.
All You Need to Know About Chemotherapy
As earlier stated, Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases in the world today. The disease is described as the presence of certain groups of cells that divide rapidly and demonstrate uninhibited growth, invasion, and fast dispersion to other parts of the body.
Chemotherapy is one of the ways to treat/ eliminate cancers, which largely, stops these cells from multiplying and spreading to other parts. Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment and management that uses medications/ certain drugs to destroy cancerous cells. Chemotherapy works by discontinuing or decelerating the growth of cancerous cells, which grow and spread very quickly.
Apart from the fact that these cancerous cells grow, they also have the potentials of causing significant harm to healthy cells that divide swiftly, such as those cells that line the mouth and bowels or those cells responsible for hair growth. Damage to healthy cells may cause side effects. Often, side effects get better or go away after chemotherapy is over.
Functions of Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is one of the most important additions to the medical world today- courtesy of advanced technology. The process is used for a lot of purposes. Some of these purposes include:
Cancer cure – This, perhaps, is one of the most popular and important uses of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy sometimes helps destroy cancer cells to the point that the medical practitioner can no longer detect affected cells in the body.
Cancer control – Chemotherapy also helps control cancerous cells from spreading to other parts of the body. Cancerous cells grow fast and are known to easily affect other healthy cells around affected areas. Chemo helps reduce this to a reasonable extent and also reduces the rate of growth of affected cells.
Palliation – Chemotherapy also helps ease the symptoms that accompany cancer like pain and pressure. This is usually called palliative care.
Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy though good for treating cancer has some unpleasant side effects because it affects all cells including the good non-cancerous cells.
Here are examples of some of them;
Chemotherapy affects all cells that develop and split quickly in the body. This includes the cancerous cells and normal cells, like the new blood cells in the bone marrow or the cells in the mouth, abdomen, skin, hair, and all reproductive organs. When chemotherapy harms these normal cells, it usually costs some side effects.
The human body varies and hence, the human body does not react to chemotherapeutic drugs the same way. The side effects can also be a result of the type of drug being used for the process. Most of the side effects felt are temporary and can be easily managed. These side effects tend to progressively improve once the treatment is completed and the healthy cells recuperate. Occasionally, the chemo process causes longstanding side effects that do not easily go away. Some of these side effects could include damage to the heart, lungs, nerve endings, kidneys, or reproductive organs.
Hair loss has been a general issue with patients undergoing chemotherapy. This issue, also known as alopecia, usually depends on the drug being used for the process. Generally, all losing head hair is common among patients undergoing the chemo session. In some cases, you may find the patient’s eyebrows and eyelashes drastically reduce. There could also be hair loss in the pubic region, armpit, and legs.
Hair loss generally starts between 2 to 3 weeks after the chemo treatment starts. This is preceded by the scalp feeling a little hot, tingly or sometimes, itchy. Patients with extra-sensitive hair feel this effect first and are accompanied by pimples on the scalp. After chemotherapy, patients can expect their hair to grow back within 4 – 12 months. First hair growth after chemo might not be the original color. However, medical practitioners believe the hair will grow back to its original color and shape with time.
As a cancer patient preparing the mind for these side effects before going for a chemotherapeutic session is an important aspect of totally getting healed from cancer and you should consider them while budgeting for the cost of Chemotherapy in Nigeria.
As you have read above about the cost of chemotherapy in Nigeria, prepare your finances before going for the session.
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