framework breast cancer WHO bauchi nigerian women
23% of women in Nigeria are affected by breast cancer.

Functional PHCs will Improve Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Says Wellness Foundation

The Executive Director of Penuel Wellness Foundation, Ogun State, Mrs. Yinka Olayinka, has called on the federal and state governments to build more functional Primary Healthcare Centres across the country to improve diagnosis and early detection of breast cancer.

Olayinka said strengthening the capacity of PHCs and making them efficient, would go a long way in reducing the number of cancer-related cases and deaths in the country, especially at the grassroots levels where people have poor knowledge about breast cancer.

She expressed concern over the rising cases of breast cancer in the country which she assured can be prevented through early detection and treatment.

The executive director who spoke at an event organised by the Penuel Wellness Foundation to raise awareness about breast cancer, identified late presentation and diagnosis as major causes of high breast cancer morbidity and mortality in the country, adding that with more and well-equipped PHCs, the ugly trend could be reversed.

According to the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Care, Nigeria has one of the highest age-standardised breast cancer mortality rates globally and the highest in Africa.

“Late presentation and diagnosis have been studied extensively as causes of high breast cancer morbidity and mortality, while treatment and outcomes are under-reported,” it added.

Also, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, about 28, 380 new breast cancer cases were recorded in Nigeria in 2020, representing 22.7 per cent of new cancers and accounting for the highest proportion of all cancer types.

A 2013 study indicated that breast cancer accounts for 45.5 per cent and 38.2 per cent of cancers among women younger than 45 years and women aged 45 years or older, respectively.

In the Ibadan population-based cancer registry, 55.6 per cent and 45.7 per cent among women younger than 45 years and women aged 45 years.

Continuing, she said that the awareness, which involved free medical care, was a way PWF contributes towards actualizing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3 on good health and well-being and giving credence to the 2023 Breast Cancer Week.

She added that PWF is intentional about creating and teaching the beneficiaries the importance of holistic health which is not focused on only treatment but also prevention and general well-being and wellness of a person.

“We needed to make sure that our activity engaged with participants and beneficiaries completely thereby intentionally attending to their needs in a holistic manner that enables an individual to thrive and not just to survive”.

Also speaking, Dr. Ibukun Obabade, stressed the need for women to check their breasts regularly and reduce their high intake of carbohydrates, advising the women on a regular breast examination, regular checks for diabetics, elevated blood pressure, and hypertension.