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Foundation takes breast cancer awareness to police

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
30 October 2021   |   3:50 am
Women in the Nigerian Police Force have been urged to take appropriate breaks from work, go for check ups to know their health status and get a mammogram annually from age 40.

L-R: Project Coordinator ISOH Foundation, Ademola Giwa-Aiyilera, CSP Mulero Vikky of Swift Operation Squad, DSP Abimbola Williams of the Gender Unit Lagos State Police Command; Director ISOH Foundation, Mrs. Nene Bejide and programme officer ISOH Foundation, Nnanna Kalu at a breast cancer awareness programme for police women held in Ikeja, Lagos.

Women in the Nigerian Police Force have been urged to take appropriate breaks from work, go for check ups to know their health status and get a mammogram annually from age 40.

This was the thrust at a health programme to commemorate this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, while encouraging a progressive grassroots conversation around mental health, organised by the In Service of Humanity Charity Foundation (ISOH), to orientate policewomen in the Lagos Police Command.

Co-founder, ISOH, Nene Bejide noted that the initiative emphasises the unrelenting resolve of the foundation to pilot grassroots and community changes around the mantra of welfare and health.

“This is the first of its kind for policewomen and in recognition of their commitment, hardwork, and resilience. It cuts across early detection for breast cancer, cervical cancer as well as mechanisms to monitor your mental health. For us as a foundation, welfare and health is our central focus and this programme shows our dedication to that.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Oge Illegbune of Leadsure Cancer Centre, noted that, when people hear cancer, the first thing that comes to mind is that it is a death sentence and a money consuming illness, hence taking appropriate precautions to avert getting into advanced stages is key, that is why women need to be aware of this.

“Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer globally with about 2.6 million cases according to the World Health Organisation says about 2.6 millions cases globally.”

She noted that some of its early symptoms include lumps, bloody discharge or discoloration, while advanced symptoms may translate to feeling unwell if it gets to the liver, with either spine and back pain.

“If you constantly check your breasts, then you will understand when there are signs. The only problem we have is that people present their cases to the doctor when it is already in the advanced stage. Early detection, screening and prevention are very important.”

“Every month for women, check your breasts. Go for Mammogram once you turn 40, because as good as your hands are, the procedure helps to detect properly. If you have a history in your family, then it should start earlier; ensure your lifestyle is tilted towards preventing cancer. Breast cancer examination is affordable while the treatment is quite expensive.

On managing stress, Dr. Aragbaye noted that hypertension and diabetes have become a major threat to health, which can be stressed induced. “From the age of 40, you should check your Blood Pressure level and blood sugar as early diagnosis is key. Take on good eating habit and avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Ensure you go for medical check ups as often as possible.”

Speaking on mental health, a medical doctor, Bosede Oyelakin noted that menopause is a constant phenomenal in women from their 40s and 50s, which could also occur earlier. While symptoms include insomnia, headaches, mood swings, dryness, anxiety and lack of interest in sex, it is a stage in one’s life everyone will go through, hence taking breaks off work which naturally promotes stress, will aid ease of transition.

While Dr. Mojisola Animashaun informed that women should consider health insurance. “It is peace of mind to have an insurance, so you don’t have to think of the finance when there’s an ailment. Never see cancer in a negative light. Know your body so well and observe all the changes.”