As Nigerians we are very reluctant to get our health checked because there is this fear of going to the hospital, however, if you are part of that, let's just estimate 30% who do get regularly checked, then that is great. that is exactly where we are trying to get the other 70% to be. Breast Cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in Nigeria, with the highest percentage of 36.5 of all cancers in Nigeria.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of proper healthcare facilities, Nigerians are not properly educated on the correct procedures and/or exams to undergo to keep themselves aware and up to date on their healthcare. And to be very honest those women can be our aunties, mom, and cousins who may now travel to America and find out when it's too late.
Here are some facts to shed light on Breast Cancer Awareness in Nigeria
- Everyone regardless of age can be prone to breast cancer however it is most common in older women. Most women over the age of sixty are diagnosed with breast cancer.
- Statistics show that one in every eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer. Women must be educated on what symptoms and precautions should be regarding breast cancer.
- The most common risk factors causing breast cancer in Nigeria and Nigerians are obesity and lack of physical activity.
Sad to say, it always boils down to our government and how there is not enough financial allocation for healthcare. To have stable health institutions with the best doctors, or even "mediocre" doctors in Nigeria, there must be compensation, renovation, and reconstruction. Therefore, we can be confident in our doctors and their treatments. For this reason, there is an organization that goes by the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) and they are the voice and advocate for breast cancer patients and survivors. BRECAN was founded by Betty Anyanywu-Akeredolu in 1997, and she was a breast cancer survivor. The organization's mission is to eliminate breast cancer, provide huge advocacy about the disease, and give all patients support where necessary.
How to check our bodies frequently
As mentioned in a previous article, Nigerians can not let situations hold us down, we will make a way from absolutely no way. There are locations all over Nigeria in which you can go and perform cancer screenings. This link provides a plethora of locations in which there can be appointments scheduled to get a screening.
Another way you can go about checking for early signs of breast cancer is by self-examination. Ladies, what you do:
- Face forward and examine your breasts in a mirror, with your hands on your hips.
- Raise arms and examine again.
- Look for signs of breast fluids.
- Feel for lumps while standing in a firm circular motion.
-Repeat the above step, while laying down.
Breast cancer is a common cancerous disease worldwide, and it's only right to shed light on this topic, especially since our country has limited healthcare. Feel free to share this information with family members back home or even tell your mom, so she can tell her sister's niece and the list goes on!
Please Share & Comment below on your knowledge of Breast Cancer and let's continue to spread awareness!