..says disease not a death sentence if detected early
The Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, BRECAN,Ondo State Chapter today celebrated its Team Survivor Nigeria, and also remembered its members that were lost to breast cancer disease.
At the Press briefing held at the BRECAN house, Ijapo Akure, Ondo State capital, the outgoing Chairperson of the association, Dr. Mrs Toyin Ayimoro explained that Team Survivor Nigeria (TSN), is an affiliate of BRECAN that takes care of the psychosocial aspect of breast cancer survivors.
According to her, the First Lady of Ondo State, Arabinrin Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu who founded BRECAN over 24 years ago, gathered survivors under TSN in 2018 to share their experiences with the public to serve as hope for victims of breast cancer that the disease is not a death sentence.
Ayimoro noted that TSN has about 30 members that have been collaborating with BRECAN to create awareness, conduct researches and provide support for patients across Nigeria.
She said: “June is a special month for us in BRECAN; it is a period we celebrate our survivors. Team Survivor Nigeria is an association that takes care of the psychosocial aspect of survivors and fighters of Breast Cancer.
“It is important to let you know that the Team Survivor Nigeria is a formidable force, they come together every month to hold meeting; this team has been in support of BRECAN ever since it came on board and so today we want to celebrate them because we share out of their pains.
“Breast Cancer is a disease that doesn’t kill especially if it’s discovered very early and that is why we do say that early detection saves life. This is the reason we are coming together again today to tell you that there is hope.
” I can tell you boldly that today in Ondo State many are now aware of breast cancer because we give hope and save lives in BRECAN and TSN”.
She, however, announced a minute silence in honour of the few members of TSN who had died, including the coordinator of the association, Late Mrs Oluwafunmilayo Oluwagbamila who passed on recently.
Speaking on “Cancer is Not a Death Sentence”, the outgoing Vice-chairman of BRECAN, Dr. Olaniyi emphasised the need for early detection by taking cognisance of abnormalities in the breast and cervix, noting that the association’s focus is on these two cancers that are related to women, and had been providing support for victims.
He asserted that, though the cause of Breast Cancer is unknown, it’s advisable for women to be involved in regular medical check-up, noting that by engaging in Breast Self Examination (BSE), clinical examination and mammography, it’s easy to detect the disease at the early stage.
He, however informed that, unlike breast, cervical cancer is highly preventable as its cause had been traced to HumanPapilloma Virus, a sexually transmitted disease that can be prevented with vaccine and screening.
Dr. Olaniyi advised women to avoid exposure to smoking, excessive intake of alcohol, to limit stress by engaging in social interaction, regular physical exercise, and have good sleep as preventive measures to stem the tide. He further enjoined women to allow prolonged breastfeeding and reduce the use of hormonal drugs.
Dr. Emmanuel Onyeama, noted that stigmatisation can kill faster than the disease itself if victims are not given moral support, noting that the trauma and physical changes they experience during treatment can be frustrating.
A survivor of three years, Mrs Peace Ijalade shared her testimony about how she overcome the disease and gave birth to twins after the treatment processes, while thanking the Ondo First Lady for her support and encouragement.
Also, a survivor of eight years, Mrs Esho lauded the BRECAN Founder for coming out boldly to share her journey with breast cancer which had motivated many victims that they can also survive.
The incoming Chairperson, Mrs Chinyere Iyke coordinated the release of Pink and Teal balloons to the sky as a symbol of celebrating victims of breast and cervical cancer.
Pink represents Breast Cancer, while TEAL is for cervical cancer.
Special Assistant on Media,
Office of the First Lady,
June 26th, 2021.