By Tayo Joseph Lagos
The wife of the Ondo State Governor and the founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu on Sunday, 4th of February, joined millions of others across the globe to mark World Cancer Day celebration – a day set aside to raise awareness on the millions of people worldwide facing unequal access to cancer detection, treatment and care services.
Speaking at the epoch making event which took place at NAF Conference Centre, Abuja, Mrs. Akeredolu re-stated her commitment to the fight against breast cancer noting that BRECAN has over the years positioned itself as a leading organization in Nigeria.
She stated the time has come when all hands must be on deck in the fight as it would take collective and individual roles in creating awareness both in small and on a large scale among market women, students, women in church among others.
Arabinrim Akeredolu also used the opportunity to congratulate the newly inaugurated executives noting that with the inauguration of the Abuja Chapter of BRECAN, nothing best expresses her dedication to the fight against cancer.
She however called for supports from all stakeholders stressing that aside creating awareness, there is a need for treatment funding and cancer care center – a template already adopted in Ondo State to provide help for those who cannot afford the cost of treatment.
In her lecture, Dr. Shagaya a consultant Oncologist at the National Hospital Abuja, who explained how cancer starts from a single cell and transforms from a normal cell into a cancer cell noted that the World Health Organization projects that between now and 2030 without intervention, 11 million people will die of cancer.
According to her, cancer has emerged as a major public health problem in developing countries and in Nigeria; Breast Cancer has the highest order of frequency.
While tracing the high incidence rate to poor awareness as well as changing lifestyles among others, Dr. Nneka Shagaya further stated that Cancer starts with a persistent and non purposeful multiplication of abnormal cells which usually refuses to submit to the normal control of the body.
She however called on the people to take advantage of medical help noting that early detection of cancer cells before it spreads to other parts increases the chances of curing the disease.
Earlier in her opening address, the National President of BRECAN, Mrs Juliet Ogbogu affirmed that World Cancer Day is a day set aside to create awareness about the disease as stakeholders across the globe push for actions that would reduce its incidence.
While explaining what cancer is, Mrs. Ogbogu used the opportunity to call for the prioritization of diagnostic and access to cancer treatment.
The climax of the event however was the inauguration of Abuja Chapter executive Committee and Investiture of the Chairperson Mrs. Funmilayo Adefila.