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Awareness is key to reduction of cancer risk

By Sola Ogundipe

Even though last weekend signalled the end of October – traditionally acknowledged as “Breast Cancer Awareness month”, the message continues to be no less significant.

Nigerians in all walks of life have continued to be intimated on the need to keep  taking steps to detect, diagnose and fight breast cancer.

This was the key point of the message in Abuja during the walk against cancer organised by the Federal Ministry of Health as part of series of programmes mapped out for the 2010 International Cancer Week.

• A WALK AGAINST CANCER: From right are Prof. Ifeoma Okoye; Mrs. Osinachi Buchi – Chukwu; Director, Procurement in the Federal Ministry of Health, Alhaji Isa Wambai, and Dr. Patience Osinubi, National Coordinator, National Cancer Control Programme, during the Cancer Walk in Abuja recenty.

During the walk the link between exercise and breast cancer prevention, as well as prevention of cancer recurrence was stressed. The need for regular exercise, healthy diet and sufficient physical activity was also highlighted.

Basic steps such as going for regular medical checkup helps to take full advantage of early detection.

There  were reminders of the need for proper detection, intervention, treatment, and attitude. There were also pointers to the fact that screening for breast cancer has the goal of detecting possible tumours before they reach a palpable (easy to feel) size.

Women still need to have an annual mammogram starting as from the age of 40, while the sensitisation of the public on the need to go for periodic check ups cannot be overemphasised. . Experts say if detected early, cancer can be treated.

The International Cancer Week was earmarked to  make a strong case for acting urgently to address the global cancer burden by bringing together leaders and experts, corporations, NGOs and advocates in an unprecedented show of solidarity.”

The bottomline remains this: Taking the steps to detect, diagnose and fight breast cancer never ends.


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