By Oluwakemi Oladipo and Omowunmi Alake
Lagos – A Clinical Oncologist, Dr Kehinde Ololade, has urged women to practice regular self-examination on their breasts for early stage detections of breast cancer.
Ololade spoke at a cancer awareness programme to celebrate the World Cancer Day.
It was organised by an NGO, Cancer Aware Nigeria, and the Department of Radiotherapy and Onocology, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in Lagos.
“World Cancer Day is an international day marked on every Feb. 4 to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment.
“The day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration, written in 2008, ” Wikipaedia, an online publication said.
Ololade, who works with the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, said that personal breast examination was very important to detect early any growing lumps in the breast.
“We decided to celebrate the World Cancer Day with the NGO by creating more awareness and screening of women of their breasts.
“We realised that prevention is better than cure; for every cancer, we see in our clinic about six women are diagnosed of breast cancer.
“We focussed more on breast screening today because breast cancer causes a lot of high mortality rate among women due to late detection.
“The challenge is that breast cancer generally is curable, but many are presented late, which leads to Stage 4, they might not respond to treatment on time.
“Every woman should be aware that early stage of cancer is very curable, so cancer is not a death sentence,” he said.
Ololade commended the Federal Government for providing new cancer treatment centre in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba.
“It is going to be one of the best cancer treatment centres in West Africa, because all equipment are well standard for cancer treatment and it will reduce medical tourism,” he said.
Also, Miss Tolulope Falowo, the Executive Director, Cancer Aware Nigeria, said that early detection and prompt treatment could significantly increase a woman’s chances of surviving breast cancer.
Falowo said that more than 90 per cent of women, whose breast cancer was found at an early stage, always survive.
“Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Nigerian women, as 40 women die from breast cancer everyday in Nigeria.
“Early detection of breast cancer can save lives; ladies should commit to do the following things such as breast self-examination at least once a month.
“Others include: clinical breast examination at least once a year and screening mammogram if aged 40 and above.
“The good news is that the earlier breast cancer is found, the better the chances for successful treatment,” he said.
Falowo said that breast cancer could strike at any age, urging women to be aware about their personal risk factors for breast cancer.
“Some of the risks of breast cancer are hereditary, age, weight, diet and alcohol.
“We screened over 250 women on breast cancer today, and we have an indigent support woman that has breast cancer.
“Cancer care is very expensive; so, we are constraint with fund which means we cannot attend to majority of women suffering from cancer.
“We have supported at least 50 women by funding chemotheraphy, surgery and so on,” she said.
Falowo urged both Federal and State Governments as well as individuals to support cancer treatment by providing more cancer treatment centres and chemotheraphy centres. (NAN)