Dr Godwin Okafor, Head of Community Health Department, Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Umuahia, Abia, said that early detection was essential in treatment of cancer as it increases chances of survival.

Okafor said this on Thursday during an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia in commemoration of 2016 World Cancer Day.

He said that the importance of early detection could not be over emphasised because the early stages of cancer was usually painless and without significant body discomforts.

The expert advised every woman of child-bearing age to undergo regular screening for cervical and breast cancer, and every man up to 40 years should go for prostate specific antigen test.

Okafor said that everyone had a role to play in the tackling of cancer and the tragedies that cancer inflicts.

Besides, Okafor advised Nigerians to adopt healthy lifestyle as well as eat balanced diets as it could be helpful in the management of cancer.

NAN reports that the UN says about 70 per cent of cancer deaths occurred in low and middle income countries.