Nigerians of all rungs have been called upon to support cancer treatment in the country in order to give hope to more cancer patients and help improve the survival rate.

The wife of the governor of Ondo State, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, made the call in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, Saturday, while she led the ‘Walk Against Cancer’, part of the program for the 3rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) and re-launch of its Abuja Chapter.

The First Lady called: “Cancer patients need help. Well-meaning Nigerians should invest in cancer care. The rich and the poor should support cancer treatment because cancer is a leveler. It is a disease that affects the young, old, rich, and poor. Everybody should contribute to cancer care.”

The program holds in observance of February 4, World Cancer Day, an international awareness day led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to raise awareness worldwide about cancer and encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.

Wife of the Governor of Ondo State and Founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), H.E, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, addressing participants during the “Walk Against Cancer”

While commenting on the theme of the year’s IWD ‘Close the Care Gap’, the governor’s wife who led the march from the Force Headquarters to Obum Palace, Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, identified sundry gaps in cancer treatment in the country.

“There are gaps needing to be fixed in the handling of cancer treatment, particularly in developing countries like Nigeria, hence what we are doing is to raise awareness and call attention to these gaps. For instance, there are gaps of grossly inadequate cancer treatment centers, costly prices of requisite drugs, the inability of cancer patients to afford treatment among other challenges.”

Mrs. Akeredolu also spoke on the importance of awareness in fighting the scourge of cancer, noting that awareness helps in detecting early and that early detection and presentation help the chance of survival.

“Awareness is very important. It leads to early detection, and early direction promotes survival. When you are aware, you are likely to make informed decisions with respect to treatment. There are misconceptions about cancer. Up to now, many Nigerians still do not believe that cancer is a medical issue.

“Through awareness, we detect early. And when you detect early, it is important to present early. There are people who even detect early but instead of presenting, they chose to seek spiritual help while the cancer cells multiply. When you detect and present early, you have a higher chance of surviving it.”, Anyanwu-Akeredolu said.

Story Credit: Debo Akinbami

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