Prof. Olufunmilayo Falusi-Olopade, a Consultant Haematology Oncologist, says succour is now available for leukemia patients with the discovery of a drug, capable of curing the disease.
Falusi-Olopade, who is the Director, Centre for Clinical Cancer Genetics, University of Chicago, Illinois, USA, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.
She said that the new drug has the potential for breakthrough in treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), which is the most common, with fewer side effects than chemotherapy.
"When this drug was first developed, they made sure everyone had access to it in Nigeria and everywhere else in the world.
"Prof. Francis Abayomi Durosimi-Etti of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, led the study for that drug; it is expensive but available.
"You can take a pill a day and leukemia will disappear,’’ she told NAN.
Falusi-Olopade called on stakeholders to assist in healthcare financing to subsidise cost of the drug and sponsor researches that could improve the health sector.
She defined leukemia as a malignant progressive disease of the bone marrow and other blood forming organs which produce increased numbers of immature or abnormal leucocytes (white blood cells).
Falusi-Olopade also advised women of 40 years and above to pay particular attention to their health.
The consultant oncologist said at this age, they should be able to predict, pre-empt and prevent any terminal disease (like cancer of any part of their body) that may develop.
According to her, the taking of one aspirin tablet a day, will prevent the incidence of breast cancer.She also said that the removal of the ovary in a menopausal woman would cut off the growth of any cancer in the ovary.
NAN reports that Falusi-Olopade, a Chicago-based Nigerian, is an alumnus of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan.
She is also a Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service professor of Medicine and Human Genetics, Associate Dean for Global Health and Director for Centre for Clinical Cancer Genetics at the University of Chicago.
Falusi-Olopade is a highly skilled haematology oncologist with proven expertise in Breast Cancer Risk assessment.In 2011, the US President, Barack Obama, appointed her to the US National Cancer Advisory Board.