Sunday, November 28, 2021

Breast Cancer: Group seeks support, asks husbands to regularly inspect wives’ breasts

According to research in Rivers, breast cancer constitutes the commonest type of cancer.

• October 20, 2021
Breast Cancer

Female medical doctors in Rivers State under the aegis of Medical Women Association of Nigeria, a non-profit organisation, is appealing to well-meaning Nigerians to support the association to help reduce breast cancer in Nigeria.

Vetty Agala, outgoing president of the association on Tuesday said for over two years, the association has been conducting free screening for cervical and breast cancer including free mammogram service but was unable to screen this year.

Doctor Agala told Peoples Gazette that the association was unable to screen this year due to a faulty mammogram.

“We need support,  we always need support, and there is no way we would have done all these things we did within these two years without the support we got from people,” Ms Agala said.

“This year we didn’t do free mammograms because our machine got bad, so we are actually working on it with NLNG to see how we can service it.”

The physician said the organisation would partner with the Rivers State University teaching hospital to use their mammogram in the meantime.

Ms Agala, who described breast cancer as a non-communicable disease, lamented that the majority of the women diagnosed with breast cancer during the association’s free screening service arrived at the hospital late.

“And, we noticed a high rate during screening.

“Our women are not coming out early, that is why we are calling on men to help check their wives’ breasts, if you find anything, visit the hospital,” she advised.

She however, urged men to encourage their wives to screen regularly for early detection, stating that one in eight women has abnormality in the breast.

“We found out that the men’s engagement works. And, our survey in Marine Base and Woji areas show that with the engagement we did with the men, we had a lot of support from them and saw many women coming out for screening.”

Speaking further, she encouraged women to eat right, walking 30 minutes three or four times a week.

“Walk sometimes, even if you are using a computer and quit smoking. Cut down on alcohol drastically,” she advised.

“Eat greens, nuts and things that are available, and once you maintain a good weight, your estrogen level balances because breast cancer also links to high levels of estrogen,” she added.

Cancer is the world’s leading cause of death, according to the World Health Organisation, with breast most commonly mentioned in 2020, followed by cancer of the lungs. Cancer accounted for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020.

An approximate of 70 per cent of the ailment is said to have occurred in low and middle income countries.

Research shows that breast cancers with 777 cases (29%) constituted the commonest cancer among both males and females in Rivers State, with females having the highest number.

The Medical Women association of Nigeria is a non-profit organisation made up of women doctors and dentists across the country. The association has been existing for over 10 years, educating and sensitising women on their health and well-being including cancer, diabetics, among others, The Gazette reports.

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