Chieftains and members of the Inner Wheel Club of Ikorodu Metropolitan on Saturday, October 21, 2023, took to the streets to create awareness and sensitize residents of Ikorodu and Igbogbo, on the danger of breast cancer.
During the seminar that took place after the sensitization walk from the Sheriff junction in Ikorodu to Igbe/HOMAT Basic School junction in Igbogbo, participants were also educated on what to look out for, and how to tackle the cancer challenges. Flyers containing information on the deadly disease were also distributed.
The seminar, which was well attended, took place at the HOMAT Basic School, Hall, Igbe junction, Igbogbo, and was themed: ‘Cancer Awareness
Inner Wheel is one of the largest women voluntary organisations in the world. A non governmental, non – profit body consisting of 108, 618 members in over 104 countries. It came into being in Ikorodu in 2012, with many projects to the credit of the club. In 2022/23 year, the club renovated a block at St. John Primary School, Imota, and donated a sick bay to the school, distributed exercise books to primary schools, donated a pavilion at Odogunyan for nursing mothers, sensitized people on cervical cancer at the Technical College, Ikorodu, and HOMAT Pivot School, Owutu, among others
Inner Wheel Fadairo Olawale, President, Inner Wheel Club of Ikorodu Metropolitan, speaking on the activities of the club, said that they are embarking on the cancer campaign to educate the populace on the danger of the disease and how to tackle it.
“This is an international club and basically involved in humanitarian activities. It is a non – governmental oriented organization which was founded to serve humanity. It takes care of the needs of the people”, she said.
“This is the month dedicated to the cancer campaign, especially the breast cancer. It is an international campaign which is not limited to Nigeria. It is for the awareness on how to take care of our breasts. That is why the Inner Wheel of Ikorodu, chose today to further its campaign awareness about cancer. That is why we are having seminar for women on how to take care of their breasts, and know about how to go about it whenever they notice anything.
“Ikorodu Metro chose today to go around and campaign for the residents, especially women, to increase the awareness and we are also bringing a doctor to speak to us about it”, she added.
Inner Wheel Omolara Muhammed, District Chairman, District 912 Nigeria, covering the 23 clubs in Lagos and part of Ogun State, also speaking with THE IMPACT, said that the campaign is to address the challenges of breast cancer.
“Globally, Breast Cancer Awareness is celebrated every October which is the Breast Cancer Month, and members of Ikorodu Metropolitan which I am part of as the Charter President, is organizing an awareness campaign on the deadly disease. So, is like a home coming for me to join my people in sensitising our people within the community, on how to care for their breasts, because breast cancer is a kind of disease that kills faster and with awareness, people can get over it”, she said.
“We have some survivors that can tell people their experiences, for them to learn from. So, today, we have invited a lecturer that is knowledgeable in that area, who will tell us how to care for our breasts, what to look for, the implication when our breasts change colour and what it means when you discover something that is strange in it”.
She emphasized that the awareness and education on breast cancer is equally good for young girls, once they started menstruating.
“It also concerns young children too. You know that there are some people that breast cancer runs in their family and they may not know. It might be their grandmother that had been affected and once you have it in your family, you have to be very careful. So, breast cancer can affect anyone as long as you start menstruating. You have to be checking your breasts regularly, and for older people, we advise them to be checking it once in a year, especially every October. Just go to centers where the check is going on and have your breasts checked”, she said.
“So, for school age students, it affects them too. They also have to take care of their breasts. They need to attend this type of seminar to know what goes on in their body”.
The speaker, Dr. Richard Mojisola, who spoke on the disease, said that the importance of the seminar is for participants who are women to be informed about how to take good care of themselves, as well as ensure that they sensitise others in their homes, work place and other places on the lessons learnt so that they too can be well – informed about the disease.
She emphasized the need for women to have good care for themselves.
“The whole essence of this health talk is for us to have informed decisions about our health and to tell others about it, so that we can all improve on our health status”, she said.
“Often times, women, we don’t take care ourselves. We are always all about the children and daddy of the house, and our own parents. We are always about everybody else except ourselves. So, I want us to learn consciously to also remember ourselves. The best way to protect our family is by taking care of ourselves, that is the best way, because when you take care of yourself, you last longer and you are there for a longer period of time for them”, she charged.
Dr. Mojisola, revealing statistics on the global and the national level to show the deadly nature of the breasts and cervical cancers, charged women on good living conditions.
“Cancer is developed when cells in our body developed problem and change. So, it is an abnormal change of cells in our body. We don’t really know what causes the changes, but we are aware of things that can increase the risk of changes in the cells in our body. We must be conscious of the things that we do and things that we expose ourselves to which increase our risk of developing cancers”, she said.
“We are talking about cancer because it is a very big deal in Nigeria. The present statistics on the cancer is that worldwide, it is one of the deadliest killers for both male and female. In Nigeiria specifically, we have about 61million females who are 15 years and above dealing with cancer. Those are potential cancer cases.
“In 2020, 29, 000 new cases of breast cancers were discovered in Nigeria, in just one year and of course, you know Nigeria, this doesn’t necessarily include people in villages or people that don’t believe in orthodox medicine.
“2.2million new cases of breast cancer are discovered yearly in the world. In Nigeria, breast cancer is the common cause of cancer related deaths, and cervical cancer is the second most common. That is why we must talk about both breast and cervical cancers.
“We have about 600, 000 new cases of cervical cancer in the world and out of these, we record about 300, 000 deaths which is half. In Nigeria, there are about 12, 000 new cases every year and about 7000, which is more than half, die. This is why we are talking about cancers”, she said.
The guest speaker listed urbanization which exposes people to all sort of pollutions, westernized diet, inability of woman to give birth for long time, use of oral contraceptive for a long time, obesity, gaining weight after menopause, radiation and lack of breast feeding among others, as factors that cause cancer.
According to her, symptoms of breast cancers include blood discharge, nipple retraction/pulling in, pains in the nipples or breasts, itching, peeling or flaking in the nipple area, a new lump in the breasts, deepening in the breasts, skin changes around breasts and swollen/thickening of any area of breast.
Dr. Mojisola, who said that cancer, when developed, can spread or affect other breast, lung, bone, liver and the brain, advised individuals to have healthy living by eating fruits, engage exercises, familiarization with your breasts, keep weight in check, be physically active, desist from alcohol and smoking, effective breast feeding, avoid oral contraceptive, especially when over 35 years and avoid hormone therapy after menopause, among other care, if they are to prevent the deadly diseases.
She also listed yearly mammogram for women that are 40 years and above once yearly, breast scan for under 40 years, and yearly breast examination in hospitals by experts, once in three years.