Breast cancer: Association urges women on regular breast checks

The Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Edo chapter on Monday advised women to check their breasts regularly for early detection of breast cancer.

Dr Adesuwa Urhogbide-Edigin, the President of MWAN in the state, gave the advice during a free screening for breast, cervical and prostate cancers at Uwelu-Uwasota primary healthcare facility in Benin.

Urhogbide-Edigin also urged women to go for PAP smear yearly to detect cervical cancer at the early stage.

She said that MWAN was committed to ensuring improvement in the standard of healthcare in the state.

“One of the main aims of the association in this biennium is to curb cancer which has become a menace.

“Catching it early will save lives. So we are going to go to the remaining 18 local government areas just as we have come to Egor.

“We will give health talks on breast, cervical and prostrate cancer.

“We will also put up bill boards on breast and cervical cancers as well as Lassa fever in order to create awareness in every primary healthcare facility,” she said.

Dr Faboya Toyin, the Head of University of Benin Teaching Hospitals (UBTH) Health Service Department, said that women should conduct self-examination monthly.

Faboya said that the most common symptom of breast cancer women should watch out for “is a lump or mass in the breast which is usually painless but with irregular edges at the early stage.’’

She listed other symptoms to include breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue and changes in the size, shape or appearance of a breast.

Dr Julian Maduemezia, the Public Relations Officer of the association who spoke on ways to tackle cervical cancer, also advised women to carry out a PAP smear yearly.

Maduemezia defined cervical cancer as a malignant tumour of the cervix and the lowermost part of the uterus.

“A routine PAP smear test reveals if a woman has traces of cervical cancer. Most sexually active women actually have cervical cancer at the early stage.

“There may be no symptoms. In a few cases, there may be irregular bleeding or pain. The treatment for cervical cancer includes surgery, radiation and chemotherapy,” she said.

Dr Endurance Idiakhua, a urologist trainee in Central Hospital, Benin, advised men to go for regular checkups to detect prostrate cancer at the early stage.

“When abnormal prostate tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat and cure; but it is unclear if early detection reduces mortality rates,” he, however, said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that about 100 women were screened for breast and cervical cancers, while over 50 men were screened for prostrate cancer.

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