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Why most naija women come late to clinics with Breast Cancer

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Kunle Emmanuel
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Why most naija women come late to clinics with Breast Cancer

Unread post by Kunle Emmanuel » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:16 pm

Why are most Nigerian women presenting late to hospitals with breast cancer?
Breast cancer is still among the number one killer disease in Nigeria; 25 per cent of the cases are reported early while 75 per cent are reported late. They come late because we believe that everything that happens to us was caused by somebody; by a witch or wizard.

The hospital is always not the first port of call. The patients would have gone to all sorts of places before seeking the doctor. The pastors are not helping issues by claiming miracle cure for cancer. Pastors should counsel followers to seek for medical care while they continue to join them in prayer.

Many Nigerian women are dying needlessly from breast cancer. They either wish it away or blame it on the witch next door. The hospital is always the last port of call. They first prefer spiritual help and only turn up in a clinic when the disease has eaten them up, when nothing can be done to save them. However, experts insist that early detection in order to improve breast cancer outcome and survival remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control.

BOLA was 25 when she noticed a lump in her left breast. Bola got married later that year to a banker. The lump was painless; it did not bother Bola and her husband, Akpan. But the lump increased over the years. Ten years later after four children, the husband insisted that they saw a doctor.
After medical examination, the lump was found to be malignant, that is cancerous. The cancer had spread. The doctor recommended mastectomy, the cutting off of the left breast, to check the spread of the malignant tissues to other parts of the body.
Bola refused. “If they cut off my breast my husband will go for other women,” she insisted. “My God will heal me. I won’t allow them to cut off my breast,” Bola added.
The cancer spread and consumed Bola. She died two years later. Bola’s family accused the husband of killing her through diabolic ways. The husband remarried within two year of Bola’s death.
She is one of the 75 per cent of Nigerian women that present late for diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer with no chance of survival.


The hallmark of breast cancer in Nigerian is late presentation of patients when little or no benefit can be derived from any form of therapy.

Another reason is that people fear mastectomy. If somebody presents early the breast will not be removed. The breast will be enhanced.

Breast cancer is no longer just about the victim!!!.

The key to prevention is early detection, and many women are more likely to go for breast cancer screening if the men in their lives are supportive.
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Re: Why most naija women come late to clinics with Beast Can

Unread post by Kunle Emmanuel » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:18 pm

What are the causes of breast cancer?
There are many risk factors that have been associated with breast cancer. Being a female is one of the factors one cannot do much about, the chance of getting it increases with the age of the woman, the older women get the more chances of getting breast cancer.

As with any other genetic diseases, a history of breast cancer in close relatives especially in mothers and siblings has been associated with the risks of getting breast cancer.

Early onset of menstrual periods before the age of 12 years or reaching menopause after the age of 55 years has both been associated with risks of developing breast cancer. These can be explained by prolong period of estrogen exposure in females.

Other risks include being overweight, using hormone replacement therapy, taking birth control pills, drinking alcohol, not having children or having your first child after age 35.
What are the signs and symptoms?
It is troubling to know that majority of our females largely ignore changes they might notice around their breasts; this is indeed very common among young women.

Common signs of breast cancer are breast lump which is usually painless, and change in size or shape of the breast or discharge from a nipple which are largely ignored.

It is however important to know that early detection and prompt treatment is the key to surviving this deadly disease.

How can breast cancer be prevented?
Several studies have shown that most of these cancers can be prevented by healthy lifestyles.

Physical exercises for at least 20 minutes daily.

Reduced fatty food, sugar and alcohol consumption and of course no smoking.

These are inexpensive things to do to prevent cancer.
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Re: Why most naija women come late to clinics with Beast Can

Unread post by Kunle Emmanuel » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:19 pm

Breast sucking prevents breast cancer?
Now this is not funny but true. I mean this is scientific research findings.

A BBC report suggesting that breast sucking by men and women can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. The report published by BBC indicates that breast sucking has the tendency of reducing the incidence of breast cancer.
It is found that regular sucking of the breast lowers the risk level that tends to build up lumps, leading to breast cancer.

The breast must be sucked as often as possible. Help women fight breast cancer today.

This message is from the Ministry of Health in the Fight Against Breast Cancer.
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Re: Why most naija women come late to clinics with Beast Can

Unread post by Queenet » Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:45 pm

Still on Breast Cancer Death: Late presentation due to ignorance is our headache in the fight against breast cancer in Nigeria. The most annoying, so pervasiva and deeply entrenched is the false belief that breast cancer is caused by spiritual attack. That's penticostal lexicon! If you care to know, the craziness that you can pray away lump is sending many Nigerian women at the peak of their produ...ctive lives to the graves at an alarming rate. How else can I put it for Nigerians to pay attention? May be in capitals - YOU CANNOT PRAY AWAY BREAST CANCER, my people. Quote me. It is frustrating to hear that even educated high income women diagnosed with breast cancer expect miracle healing when they ought to know better.

I can understand a low income woman patronising the church afterall miracle healing operates on "cure now and pay later with thanksgiving". Tell me, how many have survived through that route? It is a gamble that ends with a sad note. All end up in the hospital with 4th stage breast cancer when little can be done. Untill government at all levels deploy resources to raise awareness and create access to affordable treatment and care, Nigerian women will continue to die untimely due to breast cancer.

Aside government, if you are concerned about this needless death toll, make a commitment today and join Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) to fight to end breast cancer for all. We "siddon luk" too much and watch things go horribly wrong in this country. Think of what you can do as an individual.

Don't wait till your relative gets breast cancer! I know you will say God forbid - typical Nigerian.
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Re: Why most naija women come late to clinics with Beast Can

Unread post by Queenet » Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:51 pm

Let me share with you this morning an e-mail from Dr Adewale Adisa, a Consultant Surgeon & Senior Lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife who is also a BRECAN Resource Person:

Hello Ma,

Thanks for your mail. This is a very sad loss and one can only send condolences to her family, friends and Ekiti State as a whole.
Unfortunately your mail will suggest that she has been engaging in spiritual efforts against the cancer instead of seeking treatment. I am permanently an advocate for prayers but I also agree that a lot of people are ignorant about their disease and are hypocritical about their choices. I see a lot of women in the clinic who will only tell me about resort to prayer when I suggest they will need an operation. If you were to prescribe some expensive drugs, they dont bother to pray about such.
I wish all Nigerian women will hear of the death of another prominent woman and all work together to raise awareness about the dangers of late presentation of breast cancer. I was terrified a few months ago when a beautiful female bank executive walked into a consulting room of one of my Professors. On undressing behind the curtains, the cancer had eaten up the whole of the right breast and this madam was still talking of waiting until June when she can get a leave to travel abroad for treatment. I am certain that the best breast cancer center in the world would have little to offer her.
Sadly many Nigerian politicians, the rich and the elites equally present with different cancers in late stages and the first reaction is usually to demand for a referral letter to a center abroad. Unfortunately many of the specialists in the Western countries they travel to may never have seen or managed the kind of late stages of cancers we export to them since the majority of cancers they treat are detected early by screening the populace.

Certainly we need to help ourselves as a people. We need to join hands together to promote awareness of breast and other cancers, and we need to continue to appeal to our governments at various levels to facilitate early detection and subsidize treatment of cancers.

Daily we are reminded, God is not a respecter of persons. As at today, at least 3 Nigerian governors are taking treatment for different cancers in different centers abroad. Maybe God will use these situations to touch the hearts of our leaders.

Thanks again madam.

Dr AO Adisa

My response:

Dear Dr Adisa,
Many thanks for your comment. My take was an overview based on our experience in the field for the past 15 years of championing the cause of breast cancer in Nigeria. It is also important to state that I have no knowledge of how her disease was managed but in this environment where spiritual efforts against all kinds of diseases are so pervasive, that approach before going to the hospital might not be, completely, ruled out.
Mrs Akeredolu

SOURRCE:Founder/President, Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN)

Contact: Tel: 08033331211; Email: brecan97@yahoo.com
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Re: Why most naija women come late to clinics with Beast Can

Unread post by Kunle Emmanuel » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:10 pm

Better safe than sorry. It only takes 15 minutes.

Adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month; at the end of your monthly menstrual cycle when your breast are not as tender. breast cancer can occur at any age, though it is most common in women older than 50. Many breast problems are first discovered by women themselves, often by accident. breast lumps can be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant).

J.H Medical center states, “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.” While mammograms can help you to detect cancer before you can feel a lump, breast self-exams help you to be familiar with how your breast look and feel so you can alert your healthcare professional if there are any changes.

How should a breast self-exam be performed?

1) In the Shower
Using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire bosom in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check both breast each month feeling for any lump, thickening, or hardened knot. Notice any changes and get lumps evaluated by your healthcare provider.

2) In Front of a Mirror
Visually inspect your breast with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead.

Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the Tips. Next, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breast will not exactly match—few women's breast do, so look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, particularly on one side.

3) Lying Down
When lying down, the bosom tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right bosom gently in small circular motions covering the entire bosom area and armpit.

Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the Tip; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left bosom.

If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but don't panic — 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous.

Wear P!NK, SHOP P!NK ...
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Re: Why most naija women come late to clinics with Beast Can

Unread post by Kunle Emmanuel » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:13 pm

Step by step instructional video on breat self examination;
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Re: Why most naija women come late to clinics with Beast Can

Unread post by Sister Ngozi » Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:33 pm

Wow, this is very educative. :)

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Re: Why most naija women come late to clinics with Beast Can

Unread post by JohnBrice » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:34 am

I think the obvious reason is (may be but for me) is the lack of education and hesistation to talk about this. Its not about the females of third world but still many progressive countries have such problems. But still an effective c
ampagn and education through local health workers may help to fighat against this.

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Re: Why most naija women come late to clinics with Breast Ca

Unread post by Kunle Emmanuel » Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:56 am

Support Breast Cancer Awareness Today. Share the information.
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