The Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, BRECAN, a Non-governmental Organization founded 23 years ago, has marked the year 2020 Pink October with a week outreach within Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
No fewer than 100 women were screened for breast cancer during the programme which commenced on Monday and terminated today Saturday 17th, 2020.
Speaking at the grand finale of the Pink October celebration held at BRECAN headquarters in Ibadan, the Founder, and wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu noted that the fight against the deadly scourge should be everyone’s duty, and commended members of the Organisation for their commitment.
She lamented the position of Nigerians towards donating for charity, saying many assumed that organisations like BRECAN were money-making tactics without considering less-priviledged victims of cancer who couldn’t afford treatment which the association had been sponsoring.
According to her, BRECAN had been able to sponsor the treatment of 25 victims in Ondo State within the three years of its establishment in the State, through the crowd funding initiative
She appealed to individuals, corporate bodies and especially government at all levels to support BRECAN in the breast cancer advocacy and in donation as treatment for a patient gulps hundreds of thousands, reason so many victims died due to lack of treatment fund.
Arabinrin Akeredolu who was delighted to see the organisation booming after years of being a lone voice in the wilderness as many were initially scared of identifying with BRECAN, charged women not to die of ignorance in the name of being religious by avoiding hospital for prayer mountains when they have symptoms.
She therefore appreciated the President of BRECAN for believing in the vision since inception when no one wanted to be a member, and was confident that the association now has good hands across Nigeria to sustain the vision for generations unborn to meet.
The national President of BRECAN, Mrs Juliet Ogbogu explained that the organisation which was founded by Mrs Akeredolu in 1997 after her experience with breast cancer, was committed to eliminate the deadly disease through advocacy, education and research.
Earlier in her welcome address, the BRECAN Chairperson in Oyo State, Mrs. Tolu Taiwo had noted that over 100 women were screened for breast cancer during the outreach which was taken to Ojee market, Akinyele, Ojaba, and Idi-Ayunre areas in Ibadan.
She expressed delight about the success recorded from the outreaches, as many people responded positively and indicated interest in the awareness.
A guest speaker from the Oncology department of the University Teaching Hospital, Ibadan, Dr. Bolaji Salako advised women to report early at the hospital if any abnormality is noticed in the breast.
He affirmed that the disease was not a death sentence if detected early, assuring of perfect treatment if diagnosed at early stages.
According to him, not all abnormalities in the breast are symptoms of cancer but advisable to seek medical attention, while listing risk factors to include family history, failure to breastfeed, lack of exercise, unbalanced diets, smoking and alcohol intake, among others.
A former Commissioner for education in Oyo State, Dr(Mrs) Tokunbo Fayoku who was decorated as the 2020 BRECAN Pink Lady lauded the founder for her passion to save other women from becoming victims of what she experienced.
The BRECAN Pink Lady affirmed that lots of lives had been saved through the organisation, and appealed to individuals, corporate bodies and governments to support the vision.
Many prominent individuals, including the Queen of Olubaka of Oka-Akokoland, Olori Olajumoke Adeleye, Chief Executive Officers of corporate bodies attended the event and reiterated their readiness to identify with BRECAN.