Lagos calls for collaborative efforts against breast cancer 

Lagos calls for collaborative efforts against breast cancer 

  • holds Awareness Walk to commemorate Pink October

Lagos State Government has called for strategic collaborative efforts; including raising necessary awareness; sensitizing the populace; raising funds to help support life-saving treatment services, research, life-changing support and rehabilitation amongst all stakeholders in the fight against Breast Cancer.

Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye who disclosed this today during a Road Awareness Walk organized by the Ministry of Health in partnership with a global healthcare company, Novartis, to wrap up the Y2022 Pink October Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Lagos State noted that the fight against breast cancer requires the collective efforts of all galvanizing into awareness and action.

In his words: “We are all therefore saddled with the responsibility to contribute towards the goal to get as many people as possible involved in raising awareness of the need to fight this disease in any way we can such as sensitization of the populace, raising funds to help support life-saving treatment services, research and life-changing support and rehabilitation”.

Dr. Ogboye explained that the Y2022 Pink October Road Awareness and Sensitization Walk is geared towards inspiring residents to join the fight against the disease by helping to spread knowledge and create necessary awareness that would prompt citizens to take positive action against breast cancer.

The Permanent Secretary noted that the majority of deaths from breast cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries, where most women with breast cancer are diagnosed in late stages due mainly to lack of awareness of the disease, late detection, poor health seeking behaviors and barriers to health services.

He said: “Currently there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer, therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of an effective control. When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that it can be cured. If detected late, however, curative treatment is often no longer an option.

“It is therefore very essential that we continue to inform ourselves about cancers and the fact that every single person has the ability to make a difference; be it large or small, and also that together we can make real progress in reducing the global impact of cancer, create a cancer-free world and prevent millions of deaths each year”.

Dr. Ogboye disclosed that the Lagos State Government is currently strengthening Oncology Services adding that an Oncology Centre is being proposed to ensure the best and most modern methods of diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer.

He encouraged women to take advantage of the free Breast Cancer Screening facilities provided by the State Government at 60 designated public health facilities in the State to get their breast examined, noting that seeking help early is always better, cheaper and less stressful than curative measures.

“I want to remind and encourage our women to utilize the free breast and cervical screening services that are available in our public health facilities. Let us all remember to adopt a healthy and safe lifestyle, ensure we go for regular screening as at when due and seek medical help early.

“Breast cancer touches all of us in some way so let’s unite together and promote awareness, especially as we know that anything that affects the woman shakes the foundation of the household and the society at large”, Ogboye said.

Speaking in the same vein, the Director Disease Control, Ministry of Health, Dr. Rotimi Agbolagorite explained that the breast cancer awareness month tagged “Pink October” is targeted at creating awareness in the community and also increasing the level of education of the people about breast cancer and making sure women learn how to perform self-breast examination.

Dr. Agbolagoriite advised women to always take note of their breasts and seek help immediately when they notice any change in the structure of their breast tissue, lump or any skin color change on the breast area especially around the areolae.

“And the message is that as long as, or as much as you notice any change in the architecture or the structure of your breast tissue, or you notice any swelling or any lump or any skin color change on your breast area, make sure you visit the nearest hospital to have yourself clinically assessed and evaluated. And if cancer is diagnosed, you will be managed promptly by the medical experts”, he said.

Lagos State Cancer Control Program Coordinator, Dr. Abosede Wellington stated that Breast cancer is the leading cancer in women adding that one in seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

She noted that the Lagos State Government through the Cancer Awareness Control Program is intensifying efforts aimed at creating awareness, improving access to diagnosis and treatment services for breast cancer.

“We have embarked on an integrated approach for breast cancer control focusing on public health education, enlightenment and awareness as well as increasing access to breast cancer screening and treatment services for women. We need more hands on deck to take care of the issue of cancer, this is why the State government focuses so much more on screening and early diagnosis”, She said.

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