Kunle Idowu. Abeokuta
Wife of the Ogun State governor, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun has called on women to constantly check their health status for early detection of cancer.
Mrs Abiodun who spoke at the flagging off of the state cancer awareness campaign on Tuesday, explained that early detection of breast cancer could increase the survival rates of patients infected with the disease.
She explained that her foundation, Ajose Foundation and the State government, would lead a massive awareness campaign across the twenty local government Areas in the State,this month to create awareness on the disease and perform free surgery on those suffering from the disease.
“Beyond this month the awareness drive shall be incorporated into routine health promotion messages in all facilities; primary secondary and tertiary, in order to promote early detection and invariably the survival rate of our women in Ogun State,” she said.
Earlier in her welcome address, the State Commissioner For Health Dr Tomi Coker said many of the deaths caused by cancer are avoidable if detected earlier, but lamented that delays in access to cancer treatment have resulted in 80-90% of cases presenting in an advanced stage at the time of arrival to treatment.
She said the month of October is observed globally as breast cancer awareness month.
“During this month different activities are conducted worldwide to create awareness about this type of cancer affecting a large population of women by government and different stakeholders. It tries to make the general public most especially women aware of the need for early detection of breast cancer, its treatment options and prevention methods that can help save lives,” she said.
“According to WHO, there are about 1.38 million new cases and 458 000 deaths from breast cancer each year. Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide.
“The story in Sub-Saharan Africa is not too different as cancer burden is significant and growing. Based on Globocan data, Sub-Saharan Africa has an estimated 626,400 new cases and 447,700 deaths from cancer and it is projected to increase by 85% in the next fifteen years due to population aging. Cancer in Africa is characterized by late presentation, low access to treatment, and poor treatment outcomes.
“Delays in access to cancer treatment result in 80-90% of cases presenting in an advanced stage at the time of arrival to treatment.
“In Nigeria cancer is responsible for 72,000 deaths and 102,000 new cases annually. It is worthy to note that the two most common types of cancer responsible for approximately 50.3% of all cancer cases in Nigeria occur among women and it is breast and cervical cancers.
“Particularly challenging is the mortality incidence ratio of cancer for Nigeria when compared to other Nations. For example, while in America, 19% of all breast cancer cases result in death, it is 51% in Nigeria, triple the rate seen in the US. In view of the above the government of Nigeria rolled out a National Cancer plan from year 2013 -2018 while there is a current plan from 2018-2022 which clearly spelt out the road map for cancer intervention in Nigeria.”
According to her, “under my leadership is committed to ensuring comprehensive cancer care and has taken into account cancer management in the 2021 Annual Operational Plan which was just concluded last week.