By Elizabeth Uwandu
NIGERIAN female students have been tasked to avail themselves of preventive measures against breast cancer and to engage in screening and self breast examination on monthly basis to reduce the second leading cause of female deaths worldwide.
Breast Alert Nigerian, a non governmental organisation, NGO, made this known as a cancer awareness programme organised recently for female students and staff of Lagos State University, Ojo.
The team led by Dr. Alabi Adewunmi, Dept of Radiation and Ancology, Lagos State Teaching Hospital, LUTH; Dr. M.O Kalu and Kendaboh Tare Ken, said the awareness programme was to sensitive participants on detection, symptoms and possible treatments of breast cancer .
Dr. Kalu listed factors such as hereditary, obesity, lack of physical exercise, radiation exposure, hormonal displacement etc, as the major causes of cancer.
H e said “Cancer is the second leading cause of death among females worldwide, and one of the causes of cancer is genetic factor because over 15% of people who suffer cancer get it from their parents.”
Dr Kalu stated further that although cervical cancer was more rampant in the north, breast cancer remained the commonest cancer among Nigerian women. ‘
The key word for cancer survival is early detection. When you see symptoms such as redness, swelling and pain in the breast, and part of your breast becomes tender to touch and you feel general discomfort, including suffering of discharges from the breast, seek for urgent medical attention.’
Speaking on preventive measures against cancer, Dr Adewunmi said,’ Often not all breast cancers lead to the removal of the breast. Rather, women should always make conscious effort to examine differences in shapes size and colour of their breast as often one breast is bigger than the other.’
‘ Every woman from age 20 is advised to do self breast examination monthly. While mammograms on the other hand is for women from age 40 and above. Part of preventive measure include taking healthy diet, opting for breast surgery. You can do treatments such as Radiation therapy, Chemotherapy and Hormonal therapy’ added the Radiation and Ancology expert.