The founder of BRECAN and wife of the Governor of Ondo State, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has lauded steps taken by Fiwasaye Girls’ Grammar School to inaugurate Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria’s (BRECAN) Club in the school.

Mrs Akeredolu ably represented by the BRECAN National President, Mrs. Juliet Ogbogu, encouraged the school girls to be unrelenting in spreading the awareness about breast cancer.

“The idea of having BRECAN club in schools is to catch them young and to also have more people who will help to spread the breast cancer awareness so that no one die needlessly of the disease. Children will not be shy like adults to educate people about breast cancer because when they get home, they will discuss it with their parents, siblings, friends and others they come across. That is why I am happy with their involvement at creating awareness.”

Speaking on how BRECAN is affecting the citizens of the State, Mrs. Ogbogu stated that the campaign is a continuous process which has led to improved awareness about the disease, even in rural areas, and ensured the treatment of patients through the financial support of BRECAN crowdfunding initiative of Mrs. Akeredolu.

The national president further appealed to the public to key into the fight against cancer by contributing to the crowd funding initiative, noting that this would help more cancer patients to access prompt and responsive treatment.

In his address, the guest speaker, an Oncologist Consultant at Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owo, Dr. Aba Katung, described the event as timely observing that the club will help the students to get early education about the disease while equipping them to sustain the chain spread of cancer awareness across the State.

Dr. Katung who revealed lack of early awareness and funding as some of the factors militating against the treatment of breast cancer in Nigeria, thanked Arabinrin Akeredolu for creating the BRECAN platform stressing that Ondo State is leading across the Federation in early awareness and education about breast health and how to prevent the disease.

The Oncologist further ascribed the reason for high level of death to late presentation at the hospital by the victims stressing that early detection and presentation save lives.

“Early detection and presentation save lives. Cancer has five stages and the right stage to present it is stage one or two but what we discovered is that 96% of cancer victims present themselves at stage four and five when most of the cells had been affected. Breast cancer is curable if only patients report at the hospital early. That is why breast self-examination is very important. Check your breast once in a month for any unusual change and report such immediately to the hospital.” He said.

One of the beneficiaries of the Crowdfunding initiative of BRECAN, 53- year -old Mrs. Elizabeth Akande, described Mrs. Akeredolu as God’s sent, while narrating how after her family had exhausted funds in the course of her treatment, she was introduced to the founder of BRECAN who promised to help with the financial responsibility for her treatment.

“The First Lady directed me to FMC Owo for the continuation of my treatment since last year and today, I am getting better. There are others who are equally undergoing the same treatment like me courtesy of Mrs. Akeredolu. I want to thank her. If not for her, I might not be alive today.”

Story credit: Oluwatobi Fademi
Photo credit: Gbenga Fasakin