I was at the Wells Carlton Hotel in Asokoro, Abuja, this past week. I had never been there before, which was a tad sad, as this is a lovely hotel.

The hotel was hosting a team from Apollo Hospital, India. They were in Abuja to drum up business for their Proton Beam Therapy machine. This high-end machine is used to treat breast and other cancers. 

I assume you know what cancer is, right?

Let me skip the entire rudiments of what cancer is and simply explain to you the realities of breast cancer and what must be done to help our womenfolk. 

Breasts are increasingly becoming endangered.

Cancer destroys the breast and, of course, it also kills women.

At times, surgeons must remove the breast to save the woman’s life, bringing on several layers of physical and emotional distress that are, quite frankly, devastating for the patient and their loved ones to bear.

Breast cancer is a condition that can be successfully treated if discovered early and expeditiously treated with the seriousness it deserves. So, why is the number of women suffering and dying from breast cancer in Nigeria rising at an exponential rate? 

Dr Badejo, consultant surgeon and expert with the National Hospital, Abuja, has the following to say about the ugly trend:

1. Women are ignoring the early signs of breast problems. Women are ignoring changes in the colour, feel, size, and even appearance of their breasts. They are not taking early enough decisions about pain and lumps in their breasts as well as discharge from the nipples. 

2. Women are treating breast problems in churches, mosques and herbal homes. Women are allowing untrained doctors, nurses, and even family members to treat them. The folks have no business with treating breasts.

3. Some women are refusing surgery for unbelievable reasons. For example fear of divorce from their partners. Men love breasts and it seems some would rather their wives die from breast cancer than lose the breast. 

I like breasts but not to the extent of preferring it to the life of a loved one. 

Everyone must be part of the push to save our women from breast cancer. We should all increase the advocacy on breast cancer. 

The following messages are important to share widely:

1. Women should examine their breasts regularly. Be aware of what is normal for you. 

2. If you notice anything strange or unusual or different, please speak to a qualified doctor immediately. 

3. Not every doctor is qualified to make decisions about breast diseases. Ask questions and seek the right help. Do not go to traditional healers for your breast problems. They cannot help you.

4. Herbs, rubs, lotions, potions, and holy water cannot treat breast cancer.

5. Surgery is not the only treatment available for breast cancer. 

The truth is that cancer kills. Breast cancer treatment is also not affordable by many.

Dr Bello, oncologist, also with the National Hospital, says that over 80% of women cannot afford breast cancer treatment. Therefore, prevention and early referral to specialist centres are critical.

Treating the small lump or early aggressive surgery to remove the whole breast may be lifesaving and reduce the overall cost of cancer treatment. 

Even if the breast must be removed, doctors can put in artificial breasts that look and feel good. This preserves the shape of the woman’s breast and maintains her appearance, self-worth, and dignity. 

Doctors and nurses must refer women to specialist centres and refer them early. They should also not attempt to treat breast diseases for which many are unqualified. 

There is a dire need to save the female breasts and save the lives of women. 

I am fully committed to doing my part.

I urge you to jump into the fray and do your bit today and everyday.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here