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Experts harp on regular checkups for early detection of prostrate, breast cancer


Edo State chapter of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN) yesterday disclosed that early detection of breast cancer is necessary to stay alive and urged women to check their breasts regularly for symptoms.

President of MWAN in the state, Dr. Adesuwa Urhogbide-Edigin, said this during a free breast, cervical and prostate cancers screening at the Uwelu-Uwasota Primary Healthcare Facility in Benin City.

Urhogbide-Edigin also urged women to go for yearly PAP smear to detect cervical cancer at early stage, saying MWAN was committed to ensuring improvement in the standard of healthcare in the state.

“One of the main aims of the association is to curb cancer, which has become a serious menace. Catching it early will save lives. So, we are going to the remaining 18 council areas, just as we have come to Egor.

“We will give health talks on breast, cervical and prostrate cancers. We will also put up billboards on cancers, as well as Lassa fever to create awareness in all primary healthcare facilities,” she said.

Head of University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH’s) Health Services Department, Dr. Faboya Toyin, admonished women to conduct self-examination monthly.

Faboya said the most common symptom of breast cancer women should watch out for “is a lump or mass in the breast, which is usually painless, but with irregular edges at the early stage.”

She listed other symptoms to include breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue and changes in the size, shape or appearance of the breast.

On his part, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the association, Dr. Julian Maduemezia, who spoke on ways to tackle cervical cancer, also advised women to carry out a PAP smear on yearly basis.

Maduemezia defined cervical cancer as a malignant tumour of the cervix and the lowest part of the uterus.

“A routine PAP smear test reveals if a woman has traces of cervical cancer. Most sexually active women actually have cervical cancer at the early stage.

“There may be no symptoms, but in a few cases, there may be irregular bleeding or pain. The treatment for cervical cancer are surgery, radiation and chemotherapy,” she said.

Besides, a urologist trainee at the Central Hospital, Benin, Dr. Endurance Idiakhua, advised men to go for regular checkups to detect prostrate cancer at the early stage.

“When abnormal prostate tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat and cure, but it is unclear if early detection reduces mortality rates,” he said.

No fewer than 100 women were screened for breast and cervical cancers, while 50 men were screened for prostrate cancer.

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