By Felicia Imohimi
Abuja – Two cancer survivors on Saturday in Abuja advised women from 50 years and above to engage in exercise and self-breast examination to live healthy life.
A Gender Activist and cancer survivor, Mrs Chioma Ikejiani and Mrs Jane Olobayo, gave the advice at a Cancer Awareness Walk in Abuja.
It was organised by Jaytees Clothes and Accessories, in collaboration with the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), Pathcare Laboratories, among others.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the walk was part of the activities lined up to commemorate the Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The month, marked every October worldwide, is to increase awareness on measures to ensure early detection and treatment, as well as palliative care of cancer.
Ikejiani said, “Exercise can give you longevity, exercise is very critical, without it, your survivor rate will be poor.
“Cancer is a growing aging chronic disease.
“It is important for women to be sensitive, and if they feel anything, they should go to the doctor to get the right treatment at the right time.’’
Recounting her ordeal, Ikejiani said she was diagnosed of having stage four breast cancer in Canada which was the last and worst of all breast cancer cases.
“But all through, I am now healthy.
“After undergoing chemotherapy from September 2016 to February, 2017, I was advised by an oncologist to engage in regular exercise which put an end to the tumour.
“I started to walk and exercise. I sold my car so that I won’t be tempted to go to work with it.
“I do not want any family member or some other people out there who might be facing such challenge to conclude that it is the end of life.
“It was like a project to me. I read everything I could; my oncologist and I did everything he told me to do, including exercise.
“Gradually, my tumour went from 11cm to three and zero and today I am free from it.
“I was placed on every three months medication that functions in blocking the growth of oestrogen that grows cancer,’’ she said.
Ikejiani, describing breast cancer as aging and chronic diseases, attributed rate of cancers and its associated death rate to ignorance and stigmatisation.
She said that cancer could be cure when detected early enough.
Ikejiani explained that some women after observing lumps in their breast, hide their feelings because they felt it would go with time.
According to her, such attitude will make cancer to grow bigger and spread to other parts of the body, thus making it difficult to treat.
Also, Mrs Jane Olobayo, who described cancer as a time bomb, urged women to make it a duty to do self-breast examination as often as possible to ascertain their actual health status.
Olobayo said its prevention was better than cure, noting that it was more expensive to cure the diseases than preventing it.
She said that she was diagnosed of cancer in 2010 and opted for its immediate removal.
According to her, from 2010 to 2011, I was placed on medication and seven years after I am still strong, healthy and alive.
In her remarks, Mrs Lola Orelu, the Director, Jaytees Clothes and Accessories, said that the organisation decided to champion the course of the awareness walk due to the prevalence of cancer all over the world.
Orelu said that the walk was aimed at giving back to the customers by knowing their actual health status.
Describing breast cancer as a major challenge worldwide, she said available statistics indicated that if the scourge was not addressed in the next one year, over one million more cases of breast cancers would be detected.
“We just felt that creating awareness in form of advocacy on what to do is a measure toward early detection, which is key.
“Though, causes of breast cancer are not know, but healthy living like exercises, among others makes your body to respond better than any treatment you will undergo,’’ Orelu said (NAN)