The Executive Director, Ovie Brume Foundation, Adeola Awogbemi, has said that 40 women die of breast cancer each day.
Awogbemi stated this during a walk organised by the organisation for pupils as part of activities to mark the World Cancer Day 2017 in Yaba, Lagos.
According to her, cancer constitutes a major challenge to development, undermines social and economic advances throughout the world, hence the need to raise awareness on the disease, which is rapidly becoming a global pandemic.
To reduce the number of women dying of breast cancer and to ensure that the disease is detected early, Awogbemi advised that preventive measures should start from childhood.
She said, “We feel strongly the need to educate people about the pandemic and stem the tide by making information available to people.
“It is not the cancer that is really killing them but late detection. Most people are in denial, so they fast and pray for it to go instead of treating it. If you detect it early, you can still treat it and survive it.
“When it comes to preventing cancer, it is wise to educate the young ones. Perhaps if they start preaching this gospel, if they start creating awareness in their schools and communities too, people will become aware.”
Also at the event, the Country Occupational Health Coordinator at Lafarge Africa Plc, Okoronkwo Chimobi, said that cancer had become a social problem.
According to her, Nigerians should be worried about the alarming increase in the number of women that have been diagnosed with the disease.
She said, “A woman is like the foundation of the family. She’s a wife, sister and mother and once cancer takes her out of the equation, the whole pyramid suffers. Most men who lose their wives to breast cancer find it hard to pick up the pieces of their broken lives.
“Awareness is crucial, if we want to prevent these deaths. If you educate a girl, she will pass on the knowledge to her mother and the community. There is a vaccine against cervical cancer. It should be given to young girls who have not been initiated to sexual intercourse. We need to vaccinate these children and tell them that if they delay in having sexual intercourse it can protect them from this disease. ”