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Breast cancer remains major cause of death among Nigerian women

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Breast cancer remains major cause of death among Nigerian women
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Breast cancer has claimed the top spot as the leading cause of death among women in Nigeria, especially when it goes undetected and untreated, according to the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN).

During a Breast Cancer Sensitization event, Tolu Taiwo, the National President of BRECAN, expressed her concerns about the alarming prevalence of cancer, particularly breast cancer, in Nigeria.

She emphasized that even individuals in their 20s are now grappling with this disease, and many cases are diagnosed at advanced stages, making treatment difficult.

“Many more of such were detected late when the disease has advanced and could not be cured,” she said.

According to her, this situation led to the yearly “Jog for Life” campaign and the association’s various activities 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.

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“And when you treat early, you will be fine,” she said. It should not be at a later stage which will only require palliative care.”

Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, the founder of BRECAN and wife of the Ondo State Government, emphasized that cancer is no longer a death sentence. She encouraged people to seek medical attention when they notice unusual signs, such as breast lumps, and not rely solely on religious solutions. She highlighted the awareness efforts of BRECAN in dispelling the myth that breast cancer is incurable.

“You should visit your hospitals whenever you notice any unusual thing such as a lump in your 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 Alex Uka, Special Adviser on Special Duties, said.

Odoba Oche, the Oyo State NYSC Coordinator, reiterated the importance of timely detection of breast cancer and stressed that prevention remains the most effective treatment.

Josephine Onitshabo, the lead jogger for the 2023 Jog for Life, urged women to engage in regular self-breast examinations to detect any lumps or pain early.

She encouraged women to overcome the fear of stigmatization and seek help from hospitals when needed.

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