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Always go for cervical cancer screening, Expert urges women

A family medicine expert, Dr Oge Ilegbune, has urged women to always go for cervical cancer screening, saying it is not as expensive as people think.

Ilegbune, who is also the Head of Strategy, Development and Outreach, Lakeshore Cancer Centre, spoke with newsmenon the sidelines of a health fair in Lagos.

The health fair was organised by the cancer centre, in collaboration with other healthcare providers, including Optimal Cancer Care, Pathcare, Bridge Clinic, Eye Foundation and Centre for Advanced Specialty Surgery.

According to Ilegbune, one of the objectives of the health fair is to correct the misconception that cervical cancer screening was expensive.

She explained that the screening was not as expensive as what people spent on frivolities.

“Sometimes people think it is expensive to go for cervical cancer screening, but it is not. Go round and ask how much it cost to carry out the screening.

“It is a screening recommended to be done every three years; it doesn’t cost as much as what people are spending in buying ‘aso-ebi’ for a friend’s party,” Ilegbune said.

She said the fair was aimed at providing free healthcare services and medical checkups to participants.

“It also creates more awareness on cancer prevention and clearing misconceptions people had about the disease.

“We decided to have a big fair and get other healthcare providers to partner with us and give free healthcare services and education.

“We also want people to ask questions and try to change their mindsets from the myths and misconceptions about cancer,” she said.

Ilegbune said that the fair provided treatment options available, in case any abnormality was discovered from the test, saying “people are afraid because everyone they know with the cancer is dying from it”.

“Whether it is cancer, blood sugar or hypertension, if it is detected early, it will not cause problem,” the expert said.

The doctor advised patients not to stop their medications without their doctor’s advice, saying that only doctors were in the position to do that.

“Many people who are placed on medication for high blood pressure (BP) think they are free from it because the figures had dropped.

“The truth is that it is the tablet that is keeping the BP down at the normal level.

“When your doctor places you on any medication, always go for follow up. He will do a review and know if you should stop.

“It is only your doctor that can say if you should stop any medication,” she said.

The doctor expressed concern at the rate at which young people died suddenly because of undiagnosed ailment.

She said that one of the participants was discovered with BP and an abnormal electrocardiogram (ECG) and was advised to go to the hospital immediately.

“We have referred him to his family doctor,” she said.

Also, Ezinne Ufere, a Medical Laboratory Scientist from the centre, told NAN that most people with cancer didn’t show any symptom.

Ufere said that for every eight women screened for breast cancer, one had a lump, adding that there were chances of a patient being cured of the ailment, if detected early.

In his remarks, Dr Emenike Ahiaubuke, an optometrist, told NAN that he noticed the participants were excited by the services because they had the opportunity of having a comprehensive healthcare checkup.

One of the participants, Mrs Ajaratu Oshodi, said her BP was normal and that no lump was discovered in her breasts.

Oshodi advised women to embrace lifestyle modifications, urging them to eat healthy, exercise more and avoid sitting for long particularly at the work place.

She also advised people above 30 years to stop smoking, reduce alcohol intake and go for checkups once every year.


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