Five percent of Imo women suffer breast cancer, says commissioner
Imo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Barthy Okorochukwu has disclosed that about five per cent of women in the state suffer several degrees of breast cancer.
Okorochukwu made the disclosure while speaking to newsmen shortly after an event organized by the state Ministry of Health in collaboration with ‘Walk With Us Cancer Foundation’ to increase awareness of the disease in the state, held in Owerri, last weekend.
He further said that in a bid to reduce the cases in the state, the government was also partnering with some health institutions to offer free mammography and breast ultrasound scans for the women in the state, which he said would help in early diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
He said, “there is this partnership we have with Everight and First Step Diagnosis Centres, we are giving free mammography for our women. There is also a free ultrasound scan so as to as make dictation of the disease as early as possible.
“Then I also know that the government is also partnering with the Imo State Teaching Hospital, the oncology centre there so that they can also help in the treatment of breast cancer in the state and also in its early dictation.”
Also reacting to the effort of the state government to establish a Radiotherapy Center in the state, the Commissioner said, “well, the issue of having a radiotherapy center is quite capital intensive. It is one of the things we are encouraging the governor to also do and he has also assured us he will do that. But currently, we are also partnering with the private-owned center at Ikeduru so as to help our people have the radiotherapy there.”
The health expert also enjoined citizens and residents of the state especially husbands to assist their wives on regular checks of the breast and encourage them to see a doctor once a lump is noticed.
Also in her remark, the wife of the state governor, Barrister Chioma Uzodinma, who was represented at the event by the state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Vulnerable Groups, Mrs Nkechi Ugwu, reiterated that early dictation, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer save a life.
She commended the organizers of the programme and charged everyone including religious and traditional leaders to be an advocate of breast cancer in the state.