Some breast cancer survivors on, today, Sunday have described the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) as a life-saving organization meant to eliminate the myth militating against the treatment of breast cancer in Nigeria.
The survivors, who converged on BRECAN’s office in Akure during a media chat to commemorate the 2020 National Cancer Survivors’ Day, applauded Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, founder of BRECAN and First Lady of Ondo State, for the initiative.
State Coordinator of Team Survivor of Nigeria (TSN), Mrs. an affiliate of BRECAN, Funmilayo Oluwagbamila said the initiative had changed the narrative on breast cancer in great measures.
Oluwagbamila noted that the team was formed to give hope and support to those diagnosed with the disease. She solicited financial support from members of the public so that breast cancer patients could access funds for treatment.
“Our team’s existence is evidence of BRECAN’s efforts. I want to let everyone here know that breast cancer is not a death sentence. I urge women to accept their diagnosis result each time they visit hospitals and take the necessary steps towards getting treatment. The truth is that the first step for survival on breast cancer is acceptance of diagnosis results while others follow.
“I also want to appeal to all cancer patients not to be afraid of losing part of their body, because it is better to lose a part than losing everything to breast cancer. I stand on this podium to appeal to all well-meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of breast cancer patients so that they could leave. The only hope of breast cancer patients after the grace of God is money. Let’s save lives together” Oluwagbamila said.
Similarly, Mrs. Kehinde Ehso, another breast cancer survivor, explained that she reported and submitted herself to medical treatment early as well as adhering strictly to medical instructions by medical personnel.
Esho said BRECAN had been a good help giving hope to the hopeless in the state and in Nigeria at large, while thanking Mrs. Akeredolu for introducing BRECAN Crowd-Funding Initiative to financially cater for breast cancer patients.
According to her, confidence and faith really helped her to survive the disease.
In his words, a consultant surgeon and President for Coalition Against Cancer in Nigeria, Dr. Aba Katung explained that Nigerian society had believed so much lies about cancer generally
Dr. Katung, said that people erroneously believe that breast cancer is a death sentence, hence they refuse to believe the disease exists.
The medical expert explained that deviant use of treatment for cancer has also affected the possibility of surviving the disease.
He asked members of the public to key into the crowd-funding initiated by BRECAN in treating patients of the disease who might not be financially buoyant.
He enjoined TSN to get involved in government policies, saying that TSN is a veritable tool for championing the cause for reducing the menace of cancer in the country.
In his remarks, Dr Olaniyi, the Vice Chairman of BRECAN Ondo state, said that BRECAN is a profit-making organisation established by Mrs Akeredolu to eliminate breast cancer in the country through advocacy, awareness and sensitisation programmes.
“BRECAN came into existence before the advent of the current Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu led administration, hence it is not a political nor a governmental organisation. We are only fortunate to enjoy the goodwill of Her Excellency, Mrs Betty Akeredolu which we have been using to touch many lives across the nation of Nigeria.
“For the record and for the sake of clarity, BRECAN created TSN in order to educate and give hope to those diagnosed with breast cancer. The 2020 edition of survivors’ day could not be celebrated with fanfare because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Let me say very expressly that breast cancer is real and not a death sentence but that early detection is key to treating or managing it.” Olaniyi stated.
Similarly, Dr. Emmanuel Onyema, the Secretary of BRECAN in Ondo State, appreciated BRECAN’s founder, saying that some people initially thought cancer had no treatment.
Dr. Onyema said the essence of the celebration was to continue to create awareness that breast cancer was not tantamount to death and that there was life after its treatment.
He advised members of the public not to patronize herbalists or any spiritual leaders for treatment of breast cancer who might cause more complications.
According to him, the organization introduced crowd-funding initiative to financially help patients of the disease, saying a donation of at least N200 per person is asked to be made to the association.
The BRECAN secretary, who said breast cancer was not caused by the devil, asked more support for breast cancer patients through the organization.