The Wife of Ondo State Governor and Founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, (BRECAN) Mrs Betty Akeredolu, has called for concerted efforts to fight the scourge of cancer in the country.
Mrs Akeredolu made the call on Monday at the occasion to commemorate the World Cancer Day in Akure.
”The call to beat cancer is a call to all and we must all put resources together to fight it,” she said. The governor’s wife explained that the day was set aside to promote actions and activities targeting at fighting the scourge all over the world. She noted that statistics released by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that Nigeria holds one of the worst record for cancer mortality.
Mrs Akeredolu said that BRECAN has consistently led in the commemoration of the World Cancer Day with various activities in different States of Nigeria since 2007 and the impact has been tremendous. According to her, the high level of cancer rates in developing countries like Nigeria follows simultaneously high incidences of numerous communicable diseases, such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and many others.
“This sad reality of ours is what NGOs like BRECAN are working tirelessly to change, but efforts are being frustrated by the poor allocation of funds for cancer care and control in Nigeria.
“Indeed, we are yet to get it right in cancer care as a country. “It is sad to know that we barely have three functioning standard cancer treatment centers to offer services in a country of almost 200 million people.
“It is no surprise that we currently rank top among countries with the highest cancer case and we lose so much revenue to India through medical tourism most of which are cancer related,” she said She, however, called on everyone to take action by demanding the leadership of Nigeria to prioritize cancer care, adding that early detection and presentation remain the major predictor of patients’ survival.
“It is therefore necessary for people to become aware of the most common forms of cancer, their risk factors, preventive measures, and the importance of early detection and presentation.
“It is equally important that every woman checks her breasts monthly by conducting breast self-examination to check for lumps and other unusual breast changes,” Mrs Akeredolu said.