Yesterday Ibadan witnessed a massive turn out at Oritamefa Baptist Model School, where the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) marked the 2018 World Cancer Day with a school outreach and public lecture titled: Cancer Prevention and Lifestyle by Dr Abimbola Kareem.
In his lecture on Cancer Prevention and Lifestyle, Dr Abimbola Kareem explained that cancer is a public health problem occurring worldwide and affecting all categories of persons and the second common cause of death in developed countries and among the 3 leading causes of death in developing countries.
“According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 24.6million people live with cancer worldwide while about 12.5 percent of all deaths are attributable to cancer. It further estimates that over 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer yearly, while about 80,000 die from the disease yearly. Data from various parts of Nigeria show that cancer incidence is increasing with female cancers leading. CANCER IS DEADLIER THAN MALARIA”
He further explained that the most common types of cancer in Nigeria are Breast, cervix, prostate, colorectal liver cancer and NHL (Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma).
Dr Kareem explained inadequate knowledge of the risk factors for the different cancers and the adoption of a western diet remain factors which studies have shown, is responsible for the rising incidence of cancer in Nigeria and he advised many cancers can be prevented by avoiding exposure to common risk factors, such as tobacco smoke, obesity, exposure to sun, lack of balanced diet, lack of exercise and unsafe sex. He concluded his lecture on the note that majority of the Common Cancers are preventable or curable if detected early.
Speaking at the event which witnessed large turnout of students from ICAST Group of Schools, Oluyole, All Saints College, Tobi International School, Community Grammar School, George Duke International School and the host school, Oritamefa Baptist Model School among others Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, the founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) and a survivor highlighted the need for the students to adopt healthy lifestyles so that they are not at the risk of cancer.
Most of the myths surrounding cancer as a disease were demystified by the founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) as she fielded questions from secondary school students. She also highlighted behavioural lifestyle risk such as smoking, obesity, alcoholism that predispose one to cancer. While urging the students to eat well- balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and also exercise, Mrs Akeredolu also emphasized the need for regular breast check.
The highlight of the event was the Breast Self-Examination Sekem Dance Competition where secondary school students were taught how to conduct regular breast examination in a fun and easy way to remember. The winners of the competition were awarded five thousand naira shopping voucher from Shoprite Nigeria.