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Breast Cancer: Regular Breast Examination, Vital for Women Over 40, Says MWAN, Anambra


By Julie Sylvia, Onitsha

Women have been urged to ensure they regularly check their breasts for early signs of breast cancer.

The leadership of of Anambra State  chapter of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria, MWAN, Dr Amaka Onubogu, made the call this weekend in commemoration of the World Breast Cancer awareness month. She emphasised that routine checks detect cancer early when the cells that cause it can be killed.

The MWAN  chairman called on women of the age 40 and above to always go for mammography for breast cancer screening, emphasising that routine breast checks kill breast cancer.

According to Onubogu, October is breast cancer awareness month, and her chapter of the body utilises the opportunity to appeal to women to take advantage of the campaign to keep themselves safe from the ailment and live longer and healthier for their families.

Dr. Onugbolu (right)  and chief executive of Eldorado Multispecialist Hospital, Awka

 She disclosed that breast cancer examination could be done in both public and private hospitals nearest to the people in the state,  and that where the equipment for the exercise are yet to be provided referrals are to be made.

 Onubogu added that MWAN in Anambra is collaborating with Eldorado Multi-Specialist Hospital on the campaign. Part of their program is to hold free breast cancer screening, mammography and enlighten women on how to do self breast examination. She urged women to pay scheduled visits to the hospital.

 Onubogu said that interested persons could reach their team of doctors for the free breast cancer screening or book a slot on the telephone numbers, 07035103939 and 07065973549.

 She described breast cancer as the commonest and deadliest cancer that affect women in both developed and developing countries including Nigeria. According to her the disease accounts for 25 per cent of all cancers.

“Every minute four women die of breast cancer somewhere in the world. Nigeria has the highest burden of breast cancer in Africa and unfortunately, the rate is increasing, survival is very low but the disease is curable if detected early.

“Unfortunately majority of patients  present at advanced stages of the disease,” she lamented.

 Onubugo said that importance of mammography was that early detection of very small cancerous changes in the breast that were too tiny to be felt by hand during routine clinical breast or self examination was possible .

 She encouraged every woman to go for test for early detection of breast cancer where a health worker will do a better examination to avoid the cancer which takes lives of women unnecessarily.

She informed that yearly mammography is recommended for every woman above 40 years and two to three times yearly, for those older than 55 years but lamented that the awareness is low and the cost is somewhat high.

Onubogu said that MWAN has provided opportunity for increased awareness of routine mammography and opportunity for those who may ordinarily not afford to get it.

 She explained that the target age of 40 through 55 is because those at that age bracket are naturally more prone to the common risk factors of the cancer.

She threw more light on the campaign: “October  is taken for the awareness of breast cancer. It is otherwise tagged 'Pink October'... 2023 theme is “Thrive365” and its mission is to let us unite to make the world aware and close the gap in cancer care.”

 Onubogu added that the collaboration with Eldoardo hospital is because it is a popular mammography center and the management agreed to collaborate with the association as they have done in past years.

She commended Dr Chinemelum Emegoakor, a surgeon and chairman of the hospital  for making the year's program possible.

“We urge all women of the age specified to visit us at the hospital and we thank those who have been coming since October 1 that we started the screening which will last till October 31,” she added

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