The Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) says lack of early detection and treatment of breast cancer have kept the ailment as the leading cause of death among Nigerian women.
The National President of BRECAN, Mrs Tolu Taiwo, stated this in Ibadan on Saturday during a Breast Cancer Sensitisation programme.
Taiwo said the prevalence of cancer, especially breast cancer, has become so alarming that people in their 20s are now living with the disease.
“Many more of such were detected late, when the disease has advanced and could not be cured,” she said.
Taiwo said this situation led to the yearly “Jog for Life” campaign and the various activities of the association with market women, Primary Healthcare Centres and schools.
“Now we have teenagers with lumps in their breasts, unlike before. Our message now is that if you detect anything early, you cry out early.
“And when you treat early, you will definitely be fine,” she said.
Taiwo lamented the poor attitude of Nigerians to self-breast examination and medical checks because people still present stage three or four level cancer which ought not to be.
She said the goal was that Nigerians should present stage zero to stage one of cancer where their lives could be saved.
”It should not be at a later stage which will only require palliative care.”
In her address, the founder of BRECAN and wife of the Ondo State Government, Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, said cancer was no longer a death sentence.
“You should visit your hospitals whenever you notice any unusual thing such as a lump in their breast and not focus on religion alone as the solution.
“With what BRECAN has been doing and known for we are raising an awareness that breast cancer can be done,” Anyanwu-Akeredolu, who was represented at the event by Mr Alex Uka, Special Adviser on Special Duties, said.
Also, the Oyo State NYSC Coordinator, Mr Odoba Oche, said the campaign was to let Nigerians know the danger of late presentation of breast cancer.
He said precaution remained the best treatment for breast cancer.
The lead jogger for the 2023 Jog for Life, Mrs Josephine Onitshabo, said people needed to get the right information about breast cancer.
Onitshabo stated that women needed to engage in regular breast self-examination for early detection to know if there was a lump or pain.
She encouraged women to shun the fear of stigmatisation and go to hospitals to get help.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria