By Sunmola Olowookere & Maria Famakinwa
The Wife of Ondo State Governor Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has urged women to be aware of their breasts, as she stressed that surviving breast cancer depends on early detection.
She made this call at the Breast Health and Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign organised by the Department of Community Health of the State General Hospital, Akure.
While commending the community health department for putting up the programme, she said that the State Government is committed to providing breast cancer clinic in the State which will go a long way to treat and manage breast cancer disease as she challenged everyone to join in the campaign.
“Breast cancer is affecting great number of women. We have to take the awareness outside Akure which is where the role of BRECAN comes in.
“We are combing the whole of Ondo State to sensitise people on the disease. Everybody must join in the trend and become the agent of change because this is the era of change. Breast cancer is no longer a death sentence. It is not spiritual attack either. Our women should endeavour to check their breast once in a month for any unusual change and present early to the hospital if they notice any change. “
The First Lady who invited the gathering to the 20th anniversary of BRECAN coming up between 18th and 21st of this month, also appealed to them to contribute towards saving lives of breast cancer victims across the state.
The Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro in his speech described the event as significant in the State because it is geared towards securing healthy lives for Ondo women, as he revealed that breast cancer is one of the commonest causes of death among women as one in twelve women is diagnosed breast cancer victim and added that it is very expensive to treat which prevents many patients of the disease to seek early medication.
“Cancer treatment is very expensive that an average woman cannot afford the cost. So, efforts must be made to prevent it or detect it early. This is the essence of screening and awareness campaign because early detection saves lives.”
He commended Arabinrin Akeredolu for her steps at eradicating breast cancer especially her efforts in making sure that the State has mammographic machine which will help to detect cancer at the initial stage.
The commissioner who urged victims to present themselves early for medical treatment declared that the present administration is fully committed to ensuring that the health of the populace remains at the front burner of its agenda and that the Ministry of Health is committed to all strategies in reducing the burden of the disease.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief Medical Director, State Specialist Hospital, Dr Festus Adewole had explained that the programme is organised yearly by the hospital to create awareness among women on the importance of early diagnosis which would help in the treatment.
“One very prognostic factor has been found to be a late detention. Most of our women when they developed the first symptom which is usually breast lump, see it as normal as some attribute it to spiritual attack and start seeking for spiritual intervention. By the time they get to the hospital, it has become advanced.”
Adewole, who maintained that breast cancer is curable, appealed to women to take their health seriously and check their breast monthly for any unusual change at the hospital because early detection saves lives.