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Radical Mastectomy for Nigeria now

By Yinka Odumakin
BREAST cancer is the leading cancer in women, it is very deadly and has tasked medical science. A mastectomy is  the surgery to remove a breast that is under attack.

In the past, a radical mastectomy with complete removal of the breast was the standard treatment for breast cancer. But surgical breakthroughs in recent years  have given women more options than ever before. Less invasive breast-conserving treatments are  now available to many women.

The type of mastectomy that’s right for  a sufferer  depends on several things, including:

Patient’s age

* Linda Godwin.
* Linda Godwin.

General health

Menopause status

Tumor size

Tumor stage (how far it’s spread)

Tumor grade (its aggressiveness)

Tumor’s hormone receptor status

Whether or not lymph nodes are involved.

In a  simple mastectomy, the  doctor removes the entire breast, including the nipple. But the lymph nodes, the small glands that are part of the  immune system, aren’t removed.

Immune system

A patient is likely to have a simple mastectomy if cancer isn’t in the  lymph nodes, or if it is a preventative mastectomy to lower the  risk of getting breast cancer.

Women who have a high risk of breast cancer may choose to have a preventive mastectomy, also called prophylactic mastectomy.

Studies show that women with a high risk of breast cancer may be as much as 90% less likely to get the disease after preventive mastectomy.

Some women who’ve had breast cancer in one breast will decide to have a preventive mastectomy to remove the other breast. This can reduce the chance of cancer reoccurrence.

Women with stage I or stage II breast cancer may have this procedure. It’s is a breast-conserving method in which the tumor and the tissue surrounding it are all that’s removed.

A radical mastectomy is the complete removal of the breast, including the nipple. The surgeon also removes the overlying skin, the muscles beneath the breast, and the lymph nodes. Because radical mastectomy isn’t more effective than other less extreme forms of mastectomy, it’s rarely performed today. It’s only recommended when the cancer has spread to the chest muscle.

A less traumatic and more widely used procedure is the modified radical mastectomy (MRM). With the modified radical mastectomy, the entire breast is removed as well as the underarm lymph nodes. But chest muscles are left intact. The skin covering the chest wall may or may not be left intact. The procedure may be followed with breast reconstruction.

A festering cancer

Nigeria’s  breast cancer has festered over decades untreated and has spread all over the  lymph nodes. It has become aggressive and in the final stage that only a radical mastectomy will save this receptor.

For decades we were a land flowing with milk and honey. God blessed with abundant human and material resources but the devil afflicted us with ruinous leaders. In all our years of abundance,our leaders -military and civilians- behaved like drunken sailors practically living the “money is not our problem but how to spend it”.

There was no Pharaoh to dream of the coming years of leanness talk less  of looking for a Joseph who could interpret the dream and proffer remedy. We raked billions of dollars from crude oil without adding any value. We could have made trillions more if only we were not a lazy country that could only hunt but not roast.

One man saw today coming but it was when we lowered his body into the grave that he was sworn in as “the best President we didn’t have”. The sage, Obafemi Awolowo  on June 12, 1967 from CELL DUP2,CALABAR  PRISON signed off his book “Thoughts On The Nigerian Constitution” where he warned on us about the juncture where our vehicle of nationhood has broken down. Awo wrote on page 56 of the book:

“Besides,it is not difficult to forecast that the work of government in Nigeria under a unitary constitution is bound to become unduly complex,inextricably tangled,extremely unwieldy and wasteful,and productive of disunity and discontent amongst the people. Unless we have veritable supermen at the helm of affairs, the administrative machinery would eventually disintegrate and break down under the crushing weight of ‘bureaucratic centralism ‘”.

We ignored him and continued on the road to perdition thinking the party would be everlasting. Now the party is over and all that is left is pity party. Banks are now sending messages to their customers that they won’t be able to use their debit cards outside Nigeria from January 1,2016 because our foreign reserves are dry. The Yuletide message all over is “expect hard times next year”.

It is however worrying that we are taking no concrete steps to solve our problems. We have had enough moaning about how bad things are and it is time to begin to see steps being taken to make things better .

Yes,there is the on-going war against graft which every patriotic Nigerian should support but that is not the economic agenda to get out of the mess we are in. It would in the final analysis amount to orchestrated charade if we do not dismantle the architecture of looting that makes it easy for officials to do whatever they please with public funds. And we can only pray that the tales of extortions we are hearing in the name of anti-corruption are just not true!

 Need for re-engineering

Beyond exciting the public with tales of theft,a defining art of governance in Nigeria since independence, we need a re-engineering. Our case must not be like the trader calling on all the crowd in the market to join him in pursuing a thief who has stolen an item from his wares without the sanctified common sense of leaving his shop with a minder. At a point, he found out he could not catch up with the thief only to return to see that all the remaining goods in his stall have been stolen. It is what the Yoruba call the double jeopardy of a man striking the rodent with a machete: the rodent escapes and the machete breaks.

If we are serious about salvaging Nigeria,we need a radical mastectomy now to reconstruct the entire political and economic landscape. It is time our leaders rolled up the sleeves and throw away all the billowing regalia and get to work. We cannot be having  only “emergency” Federal Executive Council  meetings  after seven months. When will regular meetings start?

The reality on ground is that we can no longer maintain 36 governors with their retinue of officials with the only job description not more than crying for bailouts. We don’t need more than 6- 8 regions that would have unfettered access to the resources under their soil and pay taxes on them to maintain a lean Abuja that would deal with only common services like defense, external affairs, immigration et al. There is no law we need that cannot be made by people who maintain regular jobs and are paid only sitting allowances for part of their time in the National and regional Assemblies.

This is not a time for power mongering but   for the company of Nehemiah who would resolve ” You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.”

 

…The manhandling of Akpobolokemi

THE manhandling of Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) at the Federal High Court premises in Lagos by security agents on Monday, December 14 was an embarrassing moment for Justice Administration in Nigeria.

He was whisked away from the court premises by the security agents in plain clothes, moments after his trial for allegedly defrauding the federal government was adjourned by Justice Ibrahim Buba to January 18, 2016,

In a scene reminiscent of kidnap, he was overpowered and bundled into a waiting bus while onlookers watched in spite of his limp-leg which has an implant and in spite of being on bail.

Effort by his lawyer, Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN), to intervene and prevent his client’s re-arrest was unsuccessful.

Narrating what happened, Wilson Ajuwa , one of the counsel to the embattled former NIMASA boss, said persons suspected to be SSS operatives appeared with a detachment of policemen and beat Akpobolokemi as he stepped out of the courtroom.

The rough handling of Akpobolokemi  by security officials in a thuggish fashion is condemnable and must never happen to any accused person again.

Thuggish  fashion

And it is heart- soothing that Justice Buba did not take kindly to the action when his lawyers returned to the court the following day. He was said to have vowed not to rise until they release him to his lawyers.

Such a barbaric act on a citizen who has submitted himself to trial imputes motives order than accountability. The reason the state is the one empowered to deal with Justice Administration is because of its expected capacity to be seen to act above the parties. If every person were to exact judgement a person who is owed money may take the life of the borrower. The state is saddled with the patience to go through the process of trial to determine guilt or otherwise and measure appropriate punishment where the accused is found culpable. And until guilt is established, an accused person is presumed innocent and should be accorded his dignity.

I hope some of our friends with background in social justice, who trained under the irrepressible icon and  are counsel to the EFCC should be able to advise the agency against such crudity. What is needed is diligent prosecution to retrieve any money proven to have been illegally taken and not brigandage.

 


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.