In commemoration of ‘World Breast Cancer Month,’ PUNCH Media Foundation, in collaboration with PUNCH Nigeria Limited, organized a breast cancer awareness program. This initiative aimed to contribute to the global fight against breast cancer by providing accurate and life-saving information to reduce the burden of this disease.
The event, which took place at corporate headquarters in Magboro, Ogun State, featured a free medical screening for all participants and was preceded by a health awareness webinar featuring renowned cancer specialists as speakers.
A similar screening exercise was held in Abuja for staff, and the virtual webinar was well attended by all staff across the country.
During the event, Professor Ifeoma Okoye, a Radiology specialist from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, emphasized the importance of early breast cancer detection through regular breast examinations. She noted that breast cancer in its early stages is often asymptomatic, making regular screening crucial for identifying lesions when they are still treatable and curable.
Professor Okoye, who also serves as the Director of the University of Nigeria Nsukka Centre for Clinical Trials, highlighted the essential link between health and human rights. She emphasized that human health cannot be improved without upholding human rights, and human rights cannot be realized without good health.
She stressed the significance of implementing Universal Health Coverage and prioritizing preventive health as part of essential health policies to reduce late presentation, financial burden, and mortality rates associated with breast and cervical cancers.
Professor Okoye shared the alarming statistics related to breast cancer in Nigeria, where a significant number of women are diagnosed with the disease annually, and a high percentage present at late stages when treatment options are limited. She emphasized the urgent need for early detection and intervention to improve survival rates.
Low-income countries in Africa, including Nigeria, face challenges in cancer treatment and management, including limited access to advanced therapies and a shortage of skilled medical personnel.
The causes of breast cancer remain largely unknown, underscoring the importance of regular screenings to detect cancer in its early stages.