By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN â€” THE Federal Government has called on state health educators to carry out more campaigns on the need to adopt healthy life styles, good nutrition and regular exercise to prevent the spread of cancer in the country.
The Minister of Health, Professor Babatunde Osoti-mehin, who made the appeal at the Cancer and Healthy Life Prevention Awareness Campaign for the South-South Zone at Igarra, Edo State yesterday, pointed out that more than 30 per cent of cancer cases could be prevented by modifying or avoiding key risk factors.
According to him, a third of cancer problems can be solved if cases are detected and treated early.
The minister, who was represented by an official of the ministry, Mr Greg Izuwa, said, â€œit is our responsibility to empower our people with information that will dispel the myths about cancer and barriers to health seeking behaviours which include ignorance and misconceptions that the disease is due to witchcraft or enemies.â€
He commended the effort of Presiden, Hope Alive Founda-tion, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and wife of the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mrs Dame Akogun, for what he described as her invaluable role as chief advocate for cancer prevention in Nigeria.
In her address, Mrs Akogun stressed that â€œ the fight against cancer cannot be over looked as many of our people, especially the rural women, are falling prey to this deadly scourge.
â€œCervical cancer is today one of the leading causes of death amongst our people. It is stated that every year, half a million new cases and a quarter of a million deaths are experienced andÂ sub-saharan Africa bears over 80 per cent of the burdenâ€.
She added that the most effective way to curb the spread of cancer was early detection and treatment, and commended the efforts of the First Lady of the nation, Hajia Turai Yarâ€™Adua, in the first against cancer.
Mrs. Akogun urged women to always go for check ups.