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Cancer Not A ‘Death Sentence’ –Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka,

Oyewale Oyelola

Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has declared that the dreaded and deadly cancer disease is curable and not a “death sentence”, as many erroneously perceived.

The literary icon who just survived the health scourge made these disclosures Tuesday, during a press conference held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, South Western Nigeria, to narrate his personal experience as well as create massive awareness about the disease.

Professor Soyinka established at the conference which was tagged ‘Beyond Ebola and Beyond reign of the Silent Killer’ that many people felt cancer was “a death sentence”, adding “family feel it; friends, colleagues, they begin to look at you as if you are a ghost once there is rumour you have cancer. No, cancer is not a death sentence, it is curable, I have undergone the treatment and I am able to tell you that I even have a model, that’s my certificate.”

He narrated that in December last year (2013), he discovered that he had cancer, but confirmed before going for other tests, saying 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.”

Soyinka who said he has been cured of cancer in October this year, advised people and emphasized the disease was not a death sentence.

He informed he decided to share his experience with the public as one his obligations as a member of the Africa Cancer Centre.

“For me, it is not a decision that I am happy with, but I felt I have an obligation being a member of the Africa Cancer Centre and also having donated during the festival of fund raising for cancer, I felt I owe people an obligation to make it known and also to demystify cancer…”

Professor Soyinka therefore urged the Federal Government to release the fund already budgeted for cancer treatment and construction of research centres in the country during late President Umaru Yar’adua rule, noting he was aware the project was capital intensive.



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