A non-governmental organisation (NGO), Femi and Dupe Kayode Foundation (FDKF), on Friday in Ibadan sensitised students to the importance of early detection and prevention of breast cancer.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that FDKF organised the programme, tagged “Breast Cancer Awareness”, for students of Orita-Mefa Baptist Model School.
The NGO said the event, which was in honour of the late Prof. Olufemi Kayode and Dr (Mrs) Kayode, was aimed at reducing the burden of the disease in Nigeria.
Speaking during the programme, the Consultant Surgeon, University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, Dr Adefemi Afolabi, enjoined the students to engage in monthly self breast examination.
“There were knowledge gaps, late detection of lumps and late presentation at the hospital for medical help, and these have been contributing to an increased number of recorded breast cancer cases annually,” he said.
Afolabi stated that lack of access to and affordability of cancer care have been part of the setbacks in the treatment of the disease in Nigeria.
The surgeon, however, said inclusion of cancer care in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) would go a long way in reducing the burden of taking care of patients.
He added that poverty and ignorance have contributed to why people opt for alternative care.
Afolabi however said this has not helped to cure the disease but has only worsened it till it spreads to other parts of the body.
“What we want done now is for people to notice breast diseases before they become lumps. How do we do that? Ultrasound of the breast for those who are less than 40 years.
“Mammogram of the breast is for those who are more than 40 years,” the surgeon said.
He added that people needed to know that breast cancer could be cured if presented early at the hospital, pointing out that the disease was not a death sentence.
Afolabi urged survivors of the disease not to be ashamed to tell others about their success.
”Such a gesture will encourage others to speak up about their challenges if they are already victims.”
He enumerated risk factors for breast cancer to be natural factors such as age, gender and heredity.
“Other factors are menstruation patterns, delayed pregnancy or not getting pregnant, increased risk of breast cancer, body size, and diet, among other things.”
In an interview, Mrs Funmi Afolabi, the daughter of late Prof. Olufemi Kayode and Dr Kayode, said her parents were role models during their lifetime.
”They were always excited to promote health and prevention of diseases and education scholarship.
“They supported people, including those living in their home town in Kogi, and this is why the foundation was established in their honour on Oct. 14 in 2020 during the funeral week of Prof. Kayode,” she said.