An Oncologist, Dr Brenda Nwammuo, has stressed the need for strict adherence to medical advice to check rising cases of breast cancer and related deaths.
Nwammuo of the Radiology Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, said this at the official launch of a mammography machine at Eldorado Multi-Specialist Hospital, Awka on Friday.
Nwammuo, who delivered a lecture entitled “Overview of Breast Cancer Screening”, noted that early detection was key to survival.
He added that “breast cancer begins when healthy cells in the breast change and grow out of control to form a mass/tumour.”
She made a global and national comparative presentation of the pandemic, adding that solutions to high mortality rate was early presentation to medical experts.
According to her, statistics from World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that more than 400,000 cancer-related deaths in women are recorded yearly across the world.
She said “WHO records also reveal that one million new cases are recorded yearly and 4.4 million women currently living with the disease across the world.
“The record also shows that an estimated 1.7 million women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the year 2020, mostly from developing world, representing a 26 per cent increase from current level.”
Nwammuo, who said that breast cancer was the most common cancer among females, added that WHO ranked Nigeria the 4th in the world breast cancer death index in 2014.
She, therefore, cautioned women, who rather than consult medical experts when they notice such abnormalities in their breasts but resort to traditional medicine practitioners and prayer warriors, against such practice.
She said “consulting prayer warriors and tradomedince practitioners will only worsen the situation.”
The oncologist also advised against consumption of red meat and processed meat once someone attained 40 years.
She emphasised the need for at least 45 minutes of physical exercise daily and consumption of fruits and vegetables.
She commended the management of Eldorado Multi-specialist Hospital, Awka for being the first to acquire a modern mammography machine in Anambra.
Dr Simeon Onyemaechi, the Executive Secretary, Anambra State Health Insurance Agency, said the state government was happy with the activities of the hospital.
He said “we encourage health specialists to come together and establish multi-specialists hospitals, rather than people establishing small clinics here and there.
“The formation of multi-specialists health centres is the only way we can improve health care services and make the state a health tourist destination.”
Onyemaechi, who also commended the management of the hospital, said Eldorado was among the service providers under the state’s health insurance scheme doing well.
Ms Francisca Chinelo-Isuh, the Manager of Eldorado Multi-specialist Hospital Awka, said that after four years of operation, the management decided to acquire a mammography machine to address cases of breast cancer in the area.
Chinelo-Isuh, who doubles as the matron of the hospital, said the intention of the management was not profit making, adding that the service would be affordable for both poor and the rich.
Also, Mr C-DON Adinuba, the Anambra Commissioner for Information and Enlightenment, said the state would partner Eldorado Multi-specialist Hospital to tackle breast cancer scourge.
Highlight of the event was demonstration of personal breast cancer examination by Dr Ifeoma Ajuba, Consultant/Head of Department, Haematology, NAUTH, Nnewi.
The event was attended by many dignitaries, including officials of Medical Women Association of Nigeria and Nigeria Medical Association, Anambra chapter.