Women who Survive Breast Cancer, Live Long Afterwards, Says Ondo First Lady

Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, Ondo State First Lady

The wife of the Governor of Ondo State, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has reassured the womenfolk that breast cancer is not a death sentence. She said women are surviving breast cancer and living long afterward.

Mrs. Akeredolu said this during an interactive session with BEMORE participants on breast and cervical cancer, menstrual circle, and personal hygiene. The session was part of the activities lined up for the girls during the BEMORE summer Boot Camp in Owerri, Imo state.

She said, “For emphasis, a lot of women are surviving and living longer. It is thus very important to do the right thing at the right time. People die of breast cancer either as a result of late diagnosis or late presentation. I founded BRECAN because I have also experienced and survived breast cancer, to let people know that they can also survive it as I did survive.”

Arabinrin who revealed that men can also have breast cancer urged the menfolk to also pay attention to it, saying, “Breast cancer occurs mainly in women, but men can have it. Many people do not realize that men have breast tissues and that they can develop breast cancer.”

Speaking on the nature of cancer, the First Lady said, “Cancer, in general, is something that chops parts of the body. It can develop in any part of the body. It starts when cells begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer and can spread to other areas. These cells usually form a tumor that can often be felt as a lump. The tumor becomes cancerous if the cells grow uncontrollably and invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant areas of the body.”

Breast cancer is more common in women who are up to age 18 and above. From this age and above, it is important to begin to do breast self-examination.

As individuals, you can discover breast cancer when you self-examine your breasts. Apart from self-examination, you can also visit a medical expert for clinical examination or go for diagnostic mammography, which is the use of a machine to examine the breast.

Dr. Emmanuel Onyeama, of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, said not all lumps are cancerous. According to him, it’s for the doctors to determine when a lump is cancerous. He noted, however, that early diagnosis and early presentation are key to surviving the ailment.

Awareness, one of the key objectives of the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), is very important in the fight against cancer disease. Other roles of BRECAN include patient support, advocacy, and research.”

Story credit: Debo Akinbami

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