By Gabriel Olawale
In commemoration of international breast cancer awareness month, Project Pink Blue has urged the Lagos State government to introduce mandatory state-wide breast cancer screening in all the local government Areas of the state.
The Acting Executive Director of Project Pink Blue, Mr. Emeka Nwagboso said that such action will save millions of Lagosians from late detection, adding that, “breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among Nigerian women and one of the leading cause of death with an estimated 26,310 new cases and 11,564 deaths in 2018.
Nwagboso who spoke during 5 kilometer walk along with free breast, cervical and prostate cancer screenings in Lagos said that sadly, many people perceive breast cancer as a ‘female’ or ‘women’ issue, “The truth is that men also have breast cancer. We have seen many men who are down with breast cancer, so there is a need for everyone to get involved in breast cancer awareness.
“Lagos State was among the first states to kick-start state cancer control plan. As at today, Lagos has one of the best cancer treatment facilities in Nigeria and West Africa. So it is on this premise, that we are appealing to the Lagos State government to make history again and save millions of Lagosians from late detection of breast cancer by introducing mandatory state-wide breast cancer screenings in all the local government Areas and by so doing, we can reduce late detection of breast cancer by 50 percent.”
Speaking while flag-off the awareness walk, Deputy Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun Sanni said that they will sustain the tempo of awareness creation and support any legislation that will improve the wellbeing of Lagosians.
“Lagos State House of Assembly has enacted a law on the awareness and treatment of cancer. The Lagos state government is working towards making it easier for the people in Lagos. Both men and women have to always check themselves. The awareness is not a one off thing. We have to continue to do it even through television and radio.”
Board Supervisor, Project Pink Blue, Mrs. Khadijat Banwo-Fatai said; “Several years ago, the government established mandatory HIV/AIDS screenings in all facilities, if they can apply same method to breast cancer, we can reduce breast cancer deaths.
“As at today, 80 percent of breast cancer cases presented to doctors at late stages and by that time the doctors can only offer palliative care. I had breast cancer 10years ago and I am alive today, because it was discovered early.”
The high point of teh event was free health screening by doctors while some Nigerian celebrities including Koboko Master, MaduMoc, Peace Emezue and many others entertained the audience