The Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA), on Monday held a breast cancer awareness for women in military barracks in Abuja as part of activities to mark the 2023 Cancer Awareness Day.
The President, Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA), Mrs Oghogho Musa, and the President of NAOWA, Mrs Maria Lagbaja, led the women on the campaign.
Also in attendance are the President of Nigerian Air Force Officers’ Wives Association (NAFOWA), Mrs Rekiyat Abubakar, and representative of NOWA and POWA Presidents.
In her remarks, Mrs Lagbaja said the campaign was an annual event marked across the globe in October annually to raise awareness on how to fight breast cancer.
She said that NAOWA, being a stakeholder, had always observed the event as part of its yearly activities, adding that the 2023 awareness campaign has the theme “Thrive 365”.
According to her, the Breast Cancer Awareness Month should hold a special place in every woman’s heart because it is likely that “every one of us here knows or have heard of a woman that has had the disease or died from the disease.”
She said the activities provided them with an opportunity to come together as a community and raise awareness about a disease that affects countless lives, not only in Nigeria but also around the world.
Lagbaja said the campaign was a time to unite, educate and support one another in the fight against breast cancer.
“Today, we have had a walk to create awareness in the barrack community and also exercise our bodies.
“As we conclude with the enlightening seminars, let us remember the importance of healthy lifestyles, early detection, prevention, and the power of knowledge in preventing breast cancer.
“Breast cancer knows no boundaries, and it is our duty to equip ourselves with the necessary information to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
“Through this event, we aim to create a platform for open dialogue, where we can share experiences, learn from experts, and ask questions.
“Together, we can break the silence surrounding breast cancer and ensure that no woman feels alone in her journey,” she said.
On her part, the President of DEPOWA, Mrs Oghogho Musa, said that breast cancer was a devastating disease that had affected millions of women worldwide.
She said that cancer does not only affected the life of patients but their families and loved ones as well.
Musa said that the disease was one of the most common cancers affecting women, adding that early detection was crucial in the fight against it while emphasising the importance of early examination.
She urged women to always do regular check up with their health care providers for regular mammogram, especially for women who are over the age of 40.
“It is our collective responsibility as wives, sisters, mothers and daughters to ensure early detection of breast cancer and it is crucial to note that breast cancer is not a death sentence.
“Early detention can lead to successful treatment and quality of life,” she said.
DEPOWA president commended the NAOWA for the initiative to create awareness on the menace in barracks to safe women.
Dr Temotope Oyinlola, a medical practioner, advised women to always carry out regular checks on their breasts so as to know on time when something might be wrong with them.
She outlined several factors that could cause breast cancer, such as family history or heredity, radiation exposure, obesity and perpetual breast disease history among others.
A survivors of breast cancer, Mrs Titilola Odunuga, shared her experience and lessons with other women at the event.