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Cancer not a spiritual attack, says Akeredolu’s wife

The Ondo State Government says it has set up an Advisory Committee for the establishment of a befitting world-class cancer treatment centre in Owo Local Government Area of the state.

Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro, stated this at World Cancer Day celebration, on Monday, in Akure.

Adegbenro said that the planned establishment would bring cancer treatment services close to the people of the state and solve the problem of medical tourism experienced by patients with cancer related problems.

He assured of the state government’s continued support in fighting against the human enemy called cancer.

The commissioner appreciated Mrs. Betty Ayanwu-Akeredolu for her efforts in the battle against breast cancer that had begun to put smiles on the faces of women who would have become victims due to ignorance.

“The Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), your NGO, which is your initiative has been in the frontline of battle against the most common cancer in our women.

“Posterity will never forget the effort you have put in,” he thanked.

Also speaking, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, said that cancer was not a spiritual attack.

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“If you have or know anyone that has cancer , let him or her seek help in government recognised health facilities.

“The survivors are encouraged to share their experiences, support victims and make a difference about the scourge in the society,” she said.

She thanked the state governor for his unalloyed support and kind gesture towards alleviating patients’ problem through the constitution of Cancer Advisory Committee for the establishment of cancer treatment centre, in Owo.

The governor’s wife called on governments at various levels to commit adequate resources to the care and support of cancer patients and survivors to reduce deaths and provide better quality of life for them.

“This disease is killing people in the state at alarming rate while many homes are gnashing in pain. Please, let us sit up because cancer can turn a home bankrupt,” she said.

According to her, the occasion was to raise awareness on cancer and encourage people to speak up, talk about preventions, early detection and treatment.

She noted that BRECAN had played a pivotal role in the celebration since 2007.

“BRECAN, a non-governmental organisation that was established in 1997 and has continued to raise breast awareness, promote early detection an early presentation, champions no stigmatisation to patients and survivors by encouraging them to stand tall and assist women pay hospital bills through our crowd funding project.

“The theme for 2019-2021 “I am and I will” is a 3-year campaign with the aim to reduce global burden of cancer.

“It is an empowering call to actions urging for personal commitment and represents the power of individuals to take action that will impact the future.

“It means whoever you are, you have the power to reduce the impact of cancer for yourself, the people you love and for the world,” she stated.

According to her, “It is time to make a personal commitment by making healthy lifestyle choices, get more informed about the signs and symptoms, early detection and prompt treatment.”

Dr.  Ndidi Okunnuga, who gave talk on cancer, said that cancer was an uncontrollable, abnormal division or growth of cells in the body.

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Okunnugba, an Oncologist at University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital, Akure, said that the disease was a major problem in the state.

She added that the younger generation was not exempted from the disease unlike before.

The Oncologist advised that those above 40 years should avoid eating red meat, maintain good hygiene with good diet.

According to her, women should go through cervical screening and being vaccinated, saying that it is curable if early detected.

Okunnugba urged men above 40 years  to go for regular prostate cancer screening.

She said that all complaint should be directed to government health facilities, adding that people should not go to faith-based organisations nor herbalists’ homes.