Calls for intensified public awareness on prevention of breast cancer
By Gabriel Ewepu
AS the world marks No Bra Day, a nongovernmental organization, Voice For the Less Privilege Organisation, VOLPO, Sunday, urged women across the country to go for regular breast checkups for early detection and treatment of possible cancer development.
This was the advice by the Founder, VOLPO, Dr Ego-Queen Ezuma while speaking on the need to intensify awareness on prevention of possible breast cancer among women in the country.
Ezuma also advocated for free testing and also good hygiene and nutrition that would help women remain healthy to play their central and multiple roles as wives, mothers, home builders and managers of resources.
The original event is known as “BRA Day” was started by Toronto plastic surgeon Dr Mitchell Brown. The first BRA Day event, titled “Breast Reconstruction – An Evening of Learning and Sharing”, was held in Toronto, Canada at Women’s College Hospital and Toronto General Hospital on October 19, 2011.
Brown found that many Canadian women who underwent a mastectomy due to breast cancer resisted undergoing reconstructive surgery. He founded “Breast Reconstruction Awareness” (BRA) Day to increase women’s awareness of the availability of reconstructive breast surgery.
BRA day is intended to raise awareness of breast cancer screening, alert women to breast cancer symptoms, and to encourage women to conduct regular self-examinations. The event was adopted in the U.S. in 2012.
The No Bra Day was celebrated on July 9, 2011. After three years, it was moved to October 13.
She said: “The No Bra Day marked every 13 October is a welcomed development that would create more awareness of the silent killer called breast cancer among women, which have claimed many lives in Nigeria with lucky survivors.
“The issue of breast cancer has become a very topical issue discussed at higher levels among government organisations and non-governmental organizations. The menace is now of great concern to us in Voice For the Less Privilege Organisation, VOLPO, as we are doing all we can to create awareness of the reality of the disease among rural communities and the best way to prevent it instead of using local herbs and other harmful practice.”
She also said that “We want to also state that No Bra Day does not mean women should be flaunting their boobs about in public because it is misinformation and should be discarded.
“What is important is for women to understand their body and changes they are not familiar and comfortable with as they carry out the initial testing of their breast with their arm raised and the other hand used to check the boob for any possible growth within the boob. If discovered should not delay in seeing a trained medical officer at the health centres or hospitals close to them for further diagnosis and treatment.”
She also advised brothers and husbands including religious and traditional leaders to encourage their women to go for checkups and treatment instead to poorly manage their condition secretly, which many times have led to preventable deaths of women in most communities in Nigeria, hence government at all levels should aggressively and holistically embark on awareness campaigns to safeguard the health and lives of women considering the vital roles women play in nation-building.