Wife of Ondo State Governor and Founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, (BRECAN), Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu -Akeredolu has reiterated her commitment to the treatment and care of women suffering fron breast cancer within and outside Ondo State.
Mrs. Akeredolu who disclosed this at the monthly seminar, tagged Team survivor Nigeria, organized for breast cancer survivors and patients undergoing treatment, counselling and care, at the BRECAN house in Ijapo, Akure, noted that most of them who could have taken good care of themselves are prone to financial difficulties.
She commended Team Survivors Nigeria (TSN), a non governmental outfit for doing amazing job, by regularly monitoring and educating breast cancer survivors and those who still undergoing treatment.
She traced the establishment of TSN to a seminar she attended in Zambia, adding that breast cancer is not a death sentence.
Mrs. Akeredolu who revealed that gone are the days when breast cancer patients do not want to be known said she was delighted many can now stand before the camera to say they are breast cancer patients or survivors.
“I am happy that you are now bold and can face the camera. There was a time in this country that breast cancer patients were afraid to discuss it so that their families and friends will not know their health status. I was the only one educating people about it then. If I give flyers to some, they threw it back at me saying God forbid but today, the awareness is better and many now understand that breast cancer is not a death sentence”, she said.
The Founder of BRECAN urged other survivors to speak out, affirming that it will help to encourage other patients that breast cancer is curable.
Arabirin also called on the Federal Government to make provisions for cancer patients in the country.
According to her, “It has been a very rough road fighting against breast cancer in the country, because our healthcare system is inadequate and this requires everybody’s efforts to put the government on its toes.”
Earlier in her opening remarks, a survivor of breast cancer and one of the TSN member, Mrs. Funmilayo Oluwagbamila revealed that the group which started in April 2018 with 10 survivors and five cancer patients presently has over 20 participants.
While advising them to always take care of themselves, she observed that the treatment of cancer can add to psychological trauma cancer patients subject themselves to, as she implored them to always be cheerful and joyous always.
In her view, a retired Chief Matron, Ondo State Specialist Hospital Akure, Mrs Funke Osho, urged cancer patients to ensure they patronise professionals and undergo full cancer treatment.
She said, “you should know that cancer can re-occur after a week, month and a school of thought also says it can re-occur after two years. It reoccurs because small area of cancer cells can remain after operation and spread to other organs of the body due to blood supply.”
She therefore advised them to make it a point of duty to visit Doctor(s) at least once in a month and exercise regularly.
Also present, sharing her survivor story was Ann – Malo , Registered Nurse, from University of California, san Diego, a survivor for 4yrs.