A consultant radiologist, Millicent Obajimi, on Friday in Lagos said that the increasing adoption of western lifestyle had contributed to the increase of breast cancer cases in the country.
Obajimi of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Oyo State, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that women should take positive steps toward leading a healthier lifestyle.
She said, “breast cancer is the commonest cancer in women.
“It is even getting worse with the adoption of a western lifestyle and habits like smoking, drinking alcohol and unhealthy diet.’’
The radiologist said that sedentary lifestyle, lack of regular physical exercise and obesity also increased the risk of a woman developing breast cancer.
“The burden of breast cancer in the country is also on the increase because there is poor information on it .
“Many women are ignorant of the importance of breast self-examination (BSE), clinical breast examination (CSE) and mammography when you reach a certain age.”
Obajimi said that early detection of breast cancer could increase the chance of survival and better treatment outcome.
She advised women in their 20s to have monthly BSE and CSE every three months, while women who are more than 40 years are encouraged to have a yearly mammogram for early detection.
“The best protection is early detection and awareness is the key to early detection.
“As a woman, we are saying be breast-aware and know what is normal for you, so that any unusual changes in the breast can be noticed early,” she said.
She urged healthcare providers to help increase awareness on breast cancer by talking to their patients on the importance of regular breast examination.
She said that healthcare providers should also help spread information on the warning signs of breast cancer and its risk factors.
NAN reports that every October is the Global Breast Cancer Awareness Month recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to help increase awareness of the disease.
The month is also set aside to raise attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment, as well as palliative care of this disease.
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