October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Every year, we are reminded to increase our efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of breast cancer. Simply put, cancer is the abnormal growth of cells associated with the manifestation of tumor(s) on the affected body part. According to the WHO in 2018, 1 in 6 deaths is caused by cancer with 15% of these deaths resulting from breast cancer. In West Africa, although breast cancer incidence has dropped to 37.8%, the mortality rate is still significant at 17.8% (Global Cancer Incidence report, 2018). Specifically in Nigeria, 34.2% of of cancer deaths are attributable to breast cancer (WHO, 2014).
Although cancer presently has no cure, 30–50% of cancers can be effectively prevented via regular clinical screenings (mammograms, clinical and self-breast exams). Unfortunately, the awareness level of breast cancer examination in Nigeria is low. Actual practice ranges from 6.1%, 10.1% to 15.5% across the country (Ifediora and Azuike, 2018; Adetule 2016; Isara and Ojedokun, 2011).
With the society well informed of the deadly impact of cancer, what challenges do you encounter in assessing regular examination? What are your personal resolutions to reduce your risk of cancer?