As the world begins hosting events to mark this year’s Cancer Awareness Month (October), Breast Cancer Survivors in Borno have called on the state government and related agencies to support them in the fight.
The survivors made the call during a knock out walk and sit out talk organised by Pink Clinic Radio Diagnostic in Maiduguri.
Mrs Hannatu Banu, a breast cancer survivor, mentioned that access to timely treatment is a problem for them. “Maiduguri only has screening equipment, patients have to go to the nearest treatment centre requiring huge expenses,” she said.
“Cancer survivors do not want pity, they need someone to be there, listen and support them in the fight,” Mrs Hannatu stated.
Another survivor who spoke to this reporter, Mrs Clara Samuel, says that people discouraged her from undergoing breast cancer surgery. She noted that this was because of the reactions and expenses attached, adding that if a patient abides by the doctor’s prescription and instruction, he or she can be saved.
The survivors advised women to conduct screening or breast self-examination regularly.
The convener, Head of the Department of Radiography at the State Specialist Hospital, explained that women are more predisposed to having breast cancer than men with a 5% genetic predisposition and a 95% sporadic predisposition to the disease.
Professor Zainab Mustapha urged the government at all levels to support the management of breast cancer, saying: “At times, we can only make diagnoses as radiotherapy is not available in Borno, the nearest centre is Zaria or Abuja and even at that, a lot of women loses their life because they cannot afford the cost of surgery nor chemotherapy.”
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