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“If you check your breasts every month, you don’t have to die of breast cancer” ― Prof. Ogu

Professor Rosemary Ogu, Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, UPTH, has declared that with a monthly check on the breasts, no one can die of cancer.

This she said is possible because such checks would lead to prevention, early detection, treatment, and recovery from cancer.

Prof. Ogu made the declaration on Monday at the headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC during a cancer awareness program held for staff of the NDDC where she advised everyone, especially women to choose a specific day of the month after their menstrual period to do the checks.

Speaking on the theme: Lifestyle Modification for Prevention of Breast Cancer, the President-elect Medical Women Association urged women 40 years and above to have a mammogram done once every year.

She regretted that about 40 women die of cancer on daily basis in Nigeria saying “cancer diagnosis is no longer a death sentence and adding that the death rate is declining because of early detection and early treatment.

According to Prof Ogu, the awareness program was powered by Diamond Helix Medical Assistance Limited, a leading Medical Consultancy firm in Nigeria in line with the breast cancer awareness month done in October of every year.

She attributed the high daily mortality rate of cancer among women to increase awareness which has made more women go out for diagnosis. “Not that it wasn’t like that before but because the awareness program is now bringing out the results to show how bad it is. It is a big problem”, she stated.

Prof. Ogu added: ” You know like maternal mortality, we say that 200 pregnant women will die daily in Nigeria, 40 women die every day from breast cancer in Nigeria. These are statistics that don’t need to be so, that the government can do something about, that you the individual should do something about.

If you know then, then you know what you can do. If you know prevention, if you know early detection, we can reduce the number of people dying”.

She advised that as part of prevention people should consume more low-fat, high-fiber diets. “What I mean by that is eat natural things. Then do exercise every day. Take a brisk walk, 30 minutes every day, that will help you to reduce hormonal levels, to reduce stress levels, to reduce cancer-causing agents in the body.

“Then the other thing is reducing alcohol level. Reduce stress, improve sleep, all those things can prevent cancer from happening to the body”, she advised.

Speaking during a one-day Breast Cancer sensitization program, the Acting Managing Director, Engr Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, said that the Commission organizes Workplace Wellness Programmes every year to ensure people pay attention to their health.

He stressed the need to create awareness to help in the prevention and early detection of breast cancer in the country, especially for men and women in the workplace.

The NDDC boss, who was represented by a Director in Health and Social Services Directorate, Dr. George Uzonwanne, urged the staff to imbibe healthy personal habits to reduce the risk of breast cancer in the country.

He cautioned against unhealthy habits which increase the risk of breast cancer and encouraged staff of the Commission to eat organic food as much as possible, as well as exercise regularly.

He advised women who are forty years old and above to go for breast cancer screening at designated wellness centers periodically.

 

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