By Chioma Obinna
Even though it screened a total of 17,960 women for breast cancer since inception in of its breast cancer awareness and screening programme in 2006, the Lagos State Ministry of Health has called for sustained prevention and control measures towards reducing the burden of the disease.
The Permanent Secretary, Dr. Femi Olugbile who stressed the importance of breast self examination (BSE) and periodic mammograms, observed that while no one is immune to breast cancer, early detection through intensive and sustained public enlightenment, education and regular screening remained the way to go.
Olugbile said through the breast screening programme conducted in collobaration with the state ministry of women affairs and poverty alleviation, 761 cases were referred for further examination.
Lagos State has a comprehensive policy on breast cancer awareness and screening programme that includes massive enlightenment campaigns at community levels through health education on breast self examination, free breast cancer screening campaigns at local government and local council development areas, free surgical removal of breast lumps for those detected and follow up exercise through monitoring and examination.
Wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola said the fight against breast cancer should be collective effort, She said the breast cancer awareness and screening programme was initiated to reduce the impact and magnitude of the disease through enlightening and educating people.
Fashola noted that the key message of the campaign to enable women pay more attention to their breasts particularly through breast self examination (BSE) and other methods.
“We need to take these checks seriously because this is the only way by which we can detect any anomalies in our breasts and then seek medical attention before it gets too late.