Early detection, treatment, help fight cancer- Survivors

Some cancer survivors have said early detection and treatment is important in the management and treatment of cancer.

Narrating their experience at a symposium organised by the Atinke Cancer Foundation in Abuja, the survivors disclosed their battles with cancer, how they survived and stressed the need for early detection and treatment.

The convener of the symposium, Mrs Atinuke Lawal, who is also a survivor, said she did not accept her result when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer but had to summon the courage to go for a surgery.

She said, "Six years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, little did I know that I will be here talking to you, sharing my story with you.

“This was a time Ebola was in Nigeria, when everybody was afraid to even go near the hospitals because the first case was found in the hospital. Before then, I didn't even know about checking of the breast or trying to screen the breast for lumps".

Atunike said that she knew about cancer, but did know about screening of the breast for a lump.

In her words, “somehow my mind went there that day and I felt a lump, I decided not to touch it again because it was scary.

I have always known that cancers grow from lumps but that was all I knew about cancer then.

According to her, she repeated the self-examination about three days later believing that it would have disappeared, unfortunately, it did not.

She said further tests showed that she had a breast cancer and had her surgery at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Idi- Araba.

Another survivor, Dr Chika Akwiwu, said there was a need for women to be educated on how to conduct self -examination on their breasts, noting that this would enable them to detect if they have lumps in their breasts.

"I am all about education because there is so much power when people are educated and understand the dynamics of breast cancer.

“During my PhD, my project was titled, ‘The Effect of Mammography Education on African- American Women’, and it was wonderful to see me use what I already knew to help other women".

She added that it is important to educate women and young ladies on breast cancer and getting their mammograms done on time.

Another survivor, Ms Catherine Ngaracu, said the breast self-examination was helpful to her in getting early treatment when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004.

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