Breast Cancer Continues to Claim Lives as Leading Cause of Death Among Nigerian Women

The Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) has expressed deep concern over the persistently high mortality rate caused by breast cancer among Nigerian women due to the lack of early detection and treatment.

During a Breast Cancer Sensitisation program held in Ibadan on Saturday, Mrs. Tolu Taiwo, the National President of BRECAN, emphasized the alarming prevalence of breast cancer, even among individuals in their 20s, who are now living with this disease.

Mrs. Taiwo highlighted the grim reality that many cases are only detected at advanced stages, making them incurable. In response to this dire situation, she stressed the importance of initiatives such as the annual “Jog for Life” campaign and various association activities that target market women, Primary Healthcare Centres, and schools.

“We are now seeing teenagers with lumps in their breasts, a phenomenon we did not witness in the past. Our message is clear: early detection leads to early intervention, which can ultimately save lives,” Taiwo asserted.

Mrs. Taiwo also expressed her dismay at the inadequate commitment of Nigerians to self-breast examination and medical check-ups, resulting in the presentation of late-stage cancer cases, which should ideally be preventable.

She emphasized the goal of encouraging Nigerians to present with stage zero to stage one cancer, where effective treatment options are available, rather than at later stages that require palliative care.

In her address, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, the founder of BRECAN and the wife of the Ondo State Governor, emphasized that cancer is no longer a death sentence. She encouraged individuals to seek medical attention when they notice any unusual symptoms, such as breast lumps, and not rely solely on religious beliefs for solutions.

Mr. Odoba Oche, the Oyo State NYSC Coordinator, underscored the importance of raising awareness about the dangers of late-stage breast cancer diagnosis, stressing that prevention remains the most effective form of treatment.

The lead jogger for the 2023 Jog for Life, Mrs. Josephine Onitshabo, emphasized the need for accurate information about breast cancer. She urged women to engage in regular breast self-examinations for early detection, encouraging them to overcome the fear of stigmatization and seek medical assistance when necessary.

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