Wife of Ondo State governor, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has said that breast cancer has killed more women across Nigeria than is actually being reported.
Akeredolu, a breast cancer survivor, spoke during the inauguration of the Lagos Chapter of the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria in Ikeja. She said that without proper awareness on the dangers of living an unhealthy lifestyle, more women and even men were at risk of being killed by the disease.
While calling on government to provide and upgrade existing equipment crucial to the treatment of the disease at the nation’s health facilities, Akeredolu, who is the founder of BRECAN, said that without support systems of such nature, cancer would continue to wreak havoc in the country.
She said, “It breaks my heart every time I see women afflicted with breast cancer and not sure whether they will make it. They have no money to access care and even when they have it, the radiotherapy machines are simply not working at the hospitals.
“The dysfunctional state of our health care system, especially when it comes to breast cancer, is really worrisome and that is why many of our women are dying every day, more than is actually being reported.
“Therefore, if we really want to fight breast cancer, awareness is the entry point. Cancer does not really kill; it is the depression suffered by the victims that actually kill. So, if we have the right type of facilities in our hospitals to address this problem and we sensitise our people well enough, the battle against breast cancer would be won in no time.”
The Chairperson of the group in Lagos, Mrs. Vivian Okorie and its National President, Mrs. Juliet Ogbogu, said they were committed to educating more people across the country about cancer and the need to maintain healthy eating habits.