The ‘evil arrow’ myths and misconceptions of cancer at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

SA Journal of Oncology

Field Value
Title The ‘evil arrow’ myths and misconceptions of cancer at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria
Creator Ololade, Kehinde O. Alabi, Adewumi Fadipe, Babatunde Adegboyega, Bolanle
Subject — cancer; evil arrow; patients; myths
Description Background: Myths and misconceptions have significant impact on the presentation and management of cancers globally. One such example includes ‘evil arrow’ myths. There is limited knowledge regarding the role of misconceptions in late presentation for management in developing countries. The percentage increase in cancers in many African countries is higher than that in developed countries. Evil arrow is the seeming attack of the enemy in a supernatural version as a result of wizardry.Aim: To evaluate the relationship of common myths and misconceptions among cancer patients, their treatment and delay of presentation to the hospital.Setting: The study was undertaken in a tertiary health facility in a cosmopolitan tropical state.Method: This is a randomised observational survey study carried out among patients and their relatives referred to the Radiotherapy Clinic of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital for treatment (a lower-income mixed metropolitan setting). A self-administered questionnaire was used. Patient consent was obtained. Data were analysed with Epi Info 2002 software and the results were presented using frequency tables and charts.Results: About 57 were patients (67%) and 28 were patients’ relatives (33%). The age distribution of participants showed 31–40 years (31.8%; 27) as the highest number, while 11–20 years (1.2%; 1) was the lowest number. A slight female preponderance of 58.8% (50) was observed. High incidence of those with the opinion that cause of cancer is unknown represented 63% (54). Over 65% of patients presented with advanced disease. The reasons for late presentation to the hospital included lack of funds in 23.5% of patients (20).Conclusion: Lack of funds, myths and misconception are main reasons why patients presented late to hospital. There is a need to emphasise debunking innumerable myths and misconceptions associated with cancer.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor ALABI AO*, ADEGBOYEGA BC* FADIPE B@ *Department of Radiotherapy, Lagos University Teaching Hospital @ Department of Psychiatry, Lagos University Teaching Hospital
Date 2019-01-23
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — survey
Format text/html application/epub+zip application/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajo.v3i0.49
Source South African Journal of Oncology; Vol 3 (2019); 5 pages 2523-0646 2518-8704
Language eng
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Coverage Africa April - June 2012 age; gender
Rights Copyright (c) 2019 Kehinde O. Ololade