DR Chinyere Akpanika, a Gynaecologist at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), says breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women worldwide.
Akpanika said this on Saturday while delivering a lecture on “Early Detection and Prevention of Cancer’’ at the Naval Officers Mess, Calabar.
The programme was organised by Mrs Omotayo Oluwole, Zonal Director, Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA), Eastern Naval Command, Calabar.
Akpanika, who said that Nigeria recorded over 100,000 new cases of cancer annually, added that early detection of the disease increased the chance of survival of an affected person.
According to her, 85 per cent of women who have breast cancer do not have a family history of breast cancer.
She said that in Nigeria, breast and cervical cancers were commonest among women, while prostate cancer was more prevalent in men.
“Today, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women after lung cancer. In Nigeria, over 100,000 new cases of cancer are recorded yearly.
“Smoking also increases the rate of breast cancer in women. Cancer is not just a health issue; it has far reaching social and economic implications,’’ she said.
Oluwole, who is the wife of Rear Adm. James Oluwole, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, said that the programme was organised to create awareness on cancer prevention and control.
“Today, we are going to offer free cancer screening to over 500 wives of naval personnel and members of the public.
“Also, we decided to do this with a view to helping women out because of the present financial challenges in the country.
“What we are doing today is free of charge for everybody here. We have decided to give a helping hand to the society so that our women can live longer.
“Early detection, awareness and treatment increase the chance of survival of patients. That is why we are here today to render this screening free of charge to women,’’ she said.
She called on state governments and local governments to join hands with the Federal Government in the fight against cancer in all its ramifications.