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BRECAN At 20: Experts Explore Way Forward, Charts Course On Cancer Management | The Precision

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The founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) and the
First Lady of Ondo State, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has
identified crowd-funding as an alternative source of funding cancer
treatment in Nigeria.

Speaking at the workshop organized by Breast Cancer Association of
Nigeria (BRECAN) at the Public Service Training Institute (PSTI) at
Ilara Mokin, Mrs. Akeredolu who observed that aside battling with
misconceptions that shrouds breast cancer, there is also the issue of
funding treatment, thus the need to adopt crowd funding as a short time
approach to addressing this ugly trend.

While calling for support to help Ondo State women with breast cancer
through the N200million Crowd Funding Initiative, Mrs. Akeredolu
stressed the need for all every individual to be involved as government
cannot do everything.

“Aside the fact that we battle with misconception about breast cancer,
we also battle with our people not having funds for treatment and so
they resort to where they will not spend so much money like the Prayer
House.

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“In truth, these women have no other choice if access to care is not
made available. We cannot wait for government to do everything. If we
are to follow bureaucratic process to get funds that means most of these
women will die before the funds come through. This is just a short time
approach to addressing an ugly situation”, she stressed while
emphasizing the place of advocacy and lobbying so that funds are
appropriated for health.


Dr. Katung while speaking on the Challenges of Managing Cancer Patients
in Nigeria highlighted late presentation, poor attitude of health
workers, non availability of branded chemotherapeutic drugs in the face
of poor resources among other.

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According to him, the cost of medical diagnosis, histopathology as well
as hormonal receptors among others is quite expensive, thus the need to
adopt public education and promote awareness on risky behavior

While lauding the efforts of BRECAN over the years in fighting the
scourge of breast cancer, Dr. Katung urged government at all levels to
increase budgetary allocation on health.

Earlier, facilitators at the break out session in the different forum
such as Youth Forum , Survivor Forum, Health Professional Forum Women
Forum and General Forum explored in detail different topics which were
followed by question and answer sessions from participants.

Presenting his paper titled ‘What Is breast cancer? Breast Cancer
Pathogenesis’, Dr. Olumide Aladesuru, a Consultant General Surgeon took
time to highlight what breast cancer means and the factors that puts one
at risk such as gender, age, race, hereditary, poor diet, smoking,
alcoholism among others.


While tracing the clinical features of a painless lump on the breast as a
ticking bomb, Dr. Aladesuru x-rayed  treatment option such as breast
reconstruction, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy with
involve the use of Tamoxifen stressing that breast cancer is indeed
treatable when detected on time.

Dr. Aladesuru also explored the clinical options of Risk Reduction
Modalities which include among others surgical option as he stressed
that screening culture should be encouraged.

Dr. Akinjide Ogundokun, a family Physician while exploring the topic:
‘Early Detection Of Breast Cancer And Patient Navigation’ traced the
different stages of breast development noting that in Nigeria, the peak
age of breast cancer is about 42.6 years which is 12% less than 30 years
of age.


According to him, majority of patients delay presenting at the hospital
because of ignorance, fear of surgery and at times because they seek
alternative herbal therapies thus complicating the whole process.

Another Family Physician, Dr. Olaniyi Johnson who spoke on Breast Cancer
Prevention; Lifestyle Approach emphasized that people are increasingly
living at risk because of their lifestyle.


Dr. Olaniyi also highlighted the dangers of certain lifestyles that puts
one at risk of cancer which include smoking, alcoholism while stressing
that it is good to maintain healthy body weight, eat right and be
involved in physical activity in order to reduce the risk of breast
cancer.

Other facilitators at the programme include Dr. Margaret Isabella who
explored the need for a national health policy; Jennifer Dents; Dr.
Niyonzima (Uganda Cancer Care) among others.

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