Wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Akeredolu has appealed to all Nigerians to join in the effort to spread the awareness about breast cancer so that no woman in Nigeria needlessly die of the disease.
Mrs Akeredolu who made the appeal while launching the Kogi State Chapter of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), in the state capital, Lokoja, urged women to be aware of the symptoms of the disease and take active steps to prevent it.
While addressing Governor Yahaya Bello during a courtesy visit to his office, Mrs Akeredolu , who is the founder of BRECAN, appealed to the Governor to set up breast cancer treatment centre in Kogi state.
According to her, “victims of breast cancer most times go to University College Hospital,
UCH, Ibadan and other hospitals outside the state, I see no reason why you cannot have your own breast cancer clinic in the state as this will go a long way to debunk the misconception
about the disease. We need your support in providing infrastructure like mammographic machine that helps to pick breast cancer at the earliest stage when no one can actually feel that the lump is there.
“One major barrier to breast cancer treatment is financial challenge. When victims of breast cancer cannot afford the treatment, they are made to believe that it is a spiritual attack and are directed to prayer mountains. But if there is breast cancer clinic in the state, they will be able to access it, get
treated and pass the message of hope across to others that breast cancer can be treated. We want you to make breast cancer awareness and treatment a priority so that women will not continue to die needlessly.”
In his remark, Governor Bello appreciated the Ondo State Government for the hospitality given to Kogi State indigenes who reside in Ondo State and commended the unrelenting efforts and passion of Arabinrin Akeredolu in the fight against breast cancer and promised his support to the
fight against the disease. He said, “every human being should rise against breast cancer because when you save a woman, you save a nation”
In her own remark, the National President, BRECAN, Mrs Juliet Ogbogu, explained that the aim of establishing BRECAN in Kogi State was to make sure that women in the State did not die of the disease in their productive age.
“Public awareness of the disease is very important. We create awareness about breast cancer through activities like ‘The Jog for Life and ‘World Cancer Day’ among others,” she said.
The guest speaker, Dr Wuraola Ipinyomi, observed that Nigeria has the highest cancer death rate in Africa due to lack of awareness, lack of infrastructure like mammographic machine in hospitals, financial challenge, superstitious beliefs among others.
While appealing to people to live a healthy life, she cautioned against some of the causes of cancer to include obesity, sedentary life style, high fat, cholesterol diet, dietary iodine deficiency, environmental factors among others.
Dr Ipinyomi also stressed the need for women to check their breasts monthly after menstruation as early detection remains the solution.