Noble Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka has said his wanting to demystify Cancer and address the perception that it is a death sentence was why he made his diagnosis and eventual cure public.
Soyinka said Cancer is rather curable. He was speaking at a press conference, titled ‘Beyond Ebola and Beyond reign of the Silent Killer,’ on Tuesday, at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State. Soyinka said though he did not like the decision to publicise his health challenge, “I felt I have an obligation being a member of the Africa Cancer Centre and ... I felt I owe people an obligation to make it known and also to demystify cancer, many people feel it’s death sentence.” The killer disease, Soyinka stated, is a ‘nuisance which must be got rid of’
Soyinka recalled: “In December last year, I discovered that I had cancer, we were making sure that, that was what it was before going for other tests. And once it was established that I did have cancer and I was sure, because in my family we had an uncle, at the time he died, we did not have all the sophisticated ways of knowing how he died.
“What killed him was attributed to a lot of things. From the little things I know about cancer, I came to a conclusion that he died of cancer, maybe we have it in our family.”
The literary icon urged the Federal Government to establish diagnostic centres across the country to aid testing, early detection and management of the ailment, especially for people who can not afford expensive medical care.
He said: “One of the major reasons why I decided that I would come and make this personal appeal is that I happen to know that certain amount of money had been approved for cancer centre under the late President Umaru Yar’adua and I want to make a personal appeal that this money be released because not all of us can gallivant a round the world where we can stop over and have the necessary treatment.
“At least, we can have diagnostic centres everywhere where elementary treatment can be given to patients.”
“The important thing is that we have enough funds to build all the necessary cancer centres including research centres that this nation requires, though some of these centres are capital intensive.”
Soyinka said he was healed of the Prostrate Cancer on 26 October.