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One in five men, one in six women will die from cancer before age 75, says Report

By Abigail Ikghalu
18 November 2021   |   2:42 am
According to a Global Cancer Observatory (Globocan) report, there were 18.1 million new cases

[FILES] Check for skin cancer. Photo: MEDICALNEWSTODAY

Polaris Bank advocates quality lifestyle, early presentation to save lives

According to a Global Cancer Observatory (Globocan) report, there were 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million cancer deaths in 2018 alone. One in every five men and one in every six women will die from cancer before age 75.

Against the background of the widespread incidence of breast cancer in the country and its attendant impact on patients’ overall wellbeing, experts have advocated early presentation as a key first step towards prevention and cure of the disease.

Platforms Africa reports that this advice was given at a webinar organised by one of Nigeria’s leading banks, Polaris Bank, in Lagos. The event was part of activities lined up by the bank to commemorate breast cancer awareness month, themed: ‘The Brave Conversations: Diagnosis and Remedy’.

The webinar, which was held recently, focused on the objective of creating a heightened awareness of breast cancer, with a view to stimulating conversations around the scourge.

The session featured three speakers, leading authorities in breast cancer awareness and treatment, and a survivor. The speakers were: Dr. Anthonia Sowunmi, a pioneer clinical and radiation Oncologist in Nigeria with over 20 years experience in oncology; Mrs. Ebunola Anozie, Founder and CEO of Care Organisation Public Enlightenment (C.O.P.E), a comprehensive cancer resource provider for women, students, breast cancer survivors and caregivers in Nigeria; and Mrs. Semira Oguntoyinbo, a cancer survivor.

In her contribution, Polaris Bank’s Group Head, Products and Market Development, Mrs. Adebimpe Ihekuna, who moderated the session, noted that womenfolk have to be intentional about regular and consistent check-ups, as outlined by medical experts. She noted that it is through such process they can detect, early enough, lumps in their breasts – which could either be benign or cancerous – for early intervention and treatment.

“Health is wealth, therefore, we should take our health and well-being very seriously and, as a matter of fact, be intentional and deliberate with regular check-ups”. She further noted: “While there are technological advancements and innovations in the treatment of breast cancer, creating awareness remains a veritable tool in helping to prevent and reduce the occurrence of the disease.”

While delivering her paper, Sowunmi described cancer as one of the leading causes of death and tasked women to invest in personal hygiene, be conscious of their body, and not repeat wearing of same bras. “It should be one bra per day,” she emphasised. “One of the risk factors aside from lifestyle choices are for women to take the issue of hygiene to heart. And because the breast area generates lots of heat and sweat, medical experts advise that women should wear a clean bra every day and not otherwise.”

On her part, Anozie, reminiscing on how she lost both her parents to cancer, thanked Polaris Bank for its support to COPE over the years. She noted that Polaris Bank, right from inception, provided COPE with necessary equipment including scanning machines. It also sponsored free screening for women. She also stressed the importance of support groups for patients, to enable them to build and regain their self-esteem.

Oguntoyinbo provided insight into her own personal experience as a survivor. As a mother of two teenagers, her journey to conquering breast cancer started in 2014 when she first noticed a lump in her left breast.

“Between then and now, I have had six chemotherapies and also enjoyed the invaluable contributions of very supportive family members and the breast cancer support group I belong to,” she explained, thanking COPE and Polaris Bank for their various levels of support.

The bank, in addition to pledging its continued support to the fight against breast cancer, also announced that, as part of this year’s breast cancer awareness campaign, it will, through its women-focused product (Polaris Pearl) provide hundreds of its customers and non-customers free cancer screening service. This will be done through its NGO partner, COPE.

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