The President, Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Anambra chapter, Dr Amaka Onubogu, has advised women of 40 years and above to regularly go for mammography for breast cancer screening. Onubogu gave the advise in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Friday.
She urged women to take advantage of the awareness month of October “to stay safe from cancer and live longer and healthier for their families”.
She said that breast cancer examination could be done in both public and private hospitals in the state nearest to the people.
She said that MWAN, in collaboration with Eldorado Multi-Specialist Hospital, was holding a free breast cancer screening, self breast examination and mammography and urged women to visit the hospital.
Onubogu said that interested persons could reach their team of doctors for the free breast cancer screening to book a slot via the following telephone numbers 07035103939, 07065973549, 09014677357, 07033482648.
She said that breast cancer is the commonest and deadliest that affects women in both developed and developing countries, including Nigeria.
“This cancer 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, a majority of patients present at advanced stages of the disease,” she said.
Onubugo also said that the importance of mammography is that early detection of very small cancerous changes in the breast that are too tiny to be felt by hand during routine clinical breast or self examination is possible .
She encouraged every woman to go for test for early detection, where a health worker would do a better examination to avoid cancer taking lives of women unnecessarily.
She said that yearly mammography is recommended for every woman above 40 years and two to three times yearly after 55 years.
“Unfortunately, the awareness is low and the cost is somewhat high,” she said.
Onubogu said that MWAN had provided opportunity to increase awareness on the practice of routine mammography and opportunity for those who may ordinarily not afford to get it.
She said that the age of 40 is the target because those at that age are the commonest risk factor although every woman above 40 years is at risk but the peak age is 40 to 55 years.
“October is taken for the awareness of breast cancer, otherwise tagged “pink October”.
“It is annually celebrated,” Onubogu said, adding that the theme of this year’s celebration is “Thrive365”.
According to him, the slogan is ‘let’s unite to make the world aware to close the gap in cancer care’.
She said that the group was collaborating with Eldoardo Hospital because it is a popular mammography center and the management consented to the association’s request as it had done in past years.
She commended the Chairman of Eldorado Multi Specialist Hospital, Dr Chinemelum Emegoakor, a surgeon, for making this year’s programme 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 we started the screening, which will last until October 31,” she said.