Breast cancer awareness
By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka- ANAMBRA State-based oncologist, Dr Brenda Nwanmuo, has said that no fewer than 4.4 million women are living with breast cancer globally, with Nigeria ranking fourth among the endemic nations according to a report by the World Health Organization, WHO.
Delivering a paper at the launch of a mammography machine for detecting breast cancer at the Eldorado Hospital, Awka, a private health facility, Nwanmuo said further that a projection by WHO had also shown that 1.7 million additional breast cancer cases mostly in developing countries, would be diagnosed in 2020.
According to her, breast cancer accounts for over 400,000 deaths annually and described it as the commonest cancer among females in Nigeria.
She attributed the high mortality rate to late presentation of breast cancer cases, adding that men could also suffer from breast cancer and should, therefore, go for routine tests for the disease.
“Don’t come to us when little or nothing can be done; don’t come when it has spread to your lungs and liver; don’t come after trying everything else because we are tired of passing the death sentence,” Nwanmuo said.
The manager of Eldorado Hospital, Dr Chinelo Isuh, said the decision of the management of the hospital to acquire the mammography machine was informed by the high rate of breast cancer among women in the Eastern part of the country.
According to her, with the availability of the machine in Awka, which is the only one fully functioning in the state, there would be no reason for people to suffer breast cancer any more if they embarked on a routine test of their breasts.
Director of Anambra State Health Insurance Agency, Dr Simeon Onyemaechi, who commissioned the machine on behalf of Governor Willie Obiano, explained that the state government would partner with the hospital in the implementation of the health insurance scheme in the state.