By Oluwatobi Fademi

As part of activities to commemorate the Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Department of Community Health, State Specialist Hospital, Akure, organised a Breast Health and Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. During the 3-day event Ondo state women will have access to free breast health education and clinical breast examination.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month, also known as Pink October is an annual international health campaign organised every October all over the world to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer

Speaking at the forum, the wife of the Ondo State Governor, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu- Akeredolu observed the need for women to present early at the hospital when they detect any sign of breast cancer.

According to her, the survival rate of breast cancer in developed countries is high because of advancement in technology and enlightenment, thus, all hands must be on deck to raise the level of awareness about the disease.

“Breast cancer is affecting women in great numbers and because of advancement in technology; the rate of mortality is coming down outside the shores of this country; it is becoming a norm for women to survive breast cancer but here, it is an exception”, she stated while stressing that breast examination should be done monthly as it is key to survival.

Arabinrin charged women to become familiar with their breast. “Most times, breast cancer presents at the early stage as a painless lump before it degenerates to another level”, she added while challenging government and individuals to wake up and rise up to the occasion as the scourge of breast cancer has for long been ignored.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro in his address acknowledged the significance of the event noting that the state government is indeed making effort to address issues of health.

While noting that it is an established fact that breast cancer is the commonest cancer found among women, Dr. Adegbenro affirmed that the goal of the present administration is to encourage early presentation at the hospital.

Dr. Adegbenro who emphasised the importance of everyone – the society, government and individuals, playing their individual part noted that plans are underway to put in place a mammography machine in the hospital.

The Chief Medical Director of the State Specialist Hospital, Dr. Festus Adewole in his welcome address noted that the event is an annual programme and that in commemoration of this year’s activity, the State Hospital decided to embark on breast screening as part of activities marking World Cancer month.

Dr. Adewole who further affirmed that there is a sharp rise in the prevalence of breast cancer, commended the First Lady, Arabinrin Akeredolu for her strides in combating the scourge of cancer across the country.

Earlier in his goodwill message, the state chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Zacharia Gbelela reiterated the commitment of NMA to partnering with all parties in areas of health to ensure a healthier society.