Breast cancer survivors solicit govt support to access mastectomy brassieres

SOME breast cancer survivors who chose to be anonymous, on Wednesday, solicited the support of the Federal Government and philanthropists to access mastectomy brassieres in Nigeria to boost their confidence.

They made the call during Breastcare exhibition of Mastectomy brassieres organised by Bricon Global Consult LTD, held at Yaba, Lagos.

The survivors expressed excitement as they purchased the special brassieres, which they said they were seriously in need of many years ago.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that mastectomy brassieres are post-surgical brassieres specially designed for women who underwent breast surgeries due to cancer.

The brassieres were to boost survivors’ confidence as it conceals the absence of the affected breast.

One of the breast cancer survivors said since her surgery in 1993 in Nigeria, she had been in dare need of mastectomy brassieres but could not access them.

She urged the government and interested philanthropists to create a platform where these brassieres could be easily purchased in states of the federation.

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The survivor said “accessing these brassieres in Nigeria had been a serious challenge for most of us, we want governments at all levels and philanthropists to create platforms where we can easily get them.

“I have a friend who went for plastic surgery because she was not aware of this special brassier which is capable of boosting our confidence.

“I also know of another woman who had been managing the one she got five years ago in the U.S.”

According to her, most survivors who do not have access to the brassieres suffer stigmatisation, thereby developing psychological problems.

She, therefore, urged the government to assist survivors with items and facilities that would help them to live normal lives with confidence.

Earlier, Mrs Abigail Simon-Hart, the Managing Director of Bricon Global Consult LTD, advised breast cancer sufferers to seek prompt medical attention.

Simon-Hart, also a breast cancer survivor, said that the exhibition and subsidised sale of the mastectomy brassieres followed her observation of difficulties most cancer survivors faced in accessing the product in Nigeria.

She added that the platform was to enable breast cancer survivors in the country to have easy access to the special female commodity to enable them to have a sense of feminity and confidence.

The managing director, who donated over 300 mastectomy brassieres to breast cancer survivors through her foundation, said this was her way of assisting survivors, being a survivor too.

She said “I want breast cancer patients to know that there is no shame in having breast cancer, they should not allow the fear of losing their breasts to discourage them from seeking medical attention.

“It is better to lose the breast than to lose our lives, so it is better to speak out once changes are observed in the breasts.

“There are good and affordable options after breast surgeries now and our office is opened for people to get these brassieres.

“We partnered with Nicola Jane in UK and Truelife Breastcare in Dublin to make mastectomy brassieres available at affordable prices to women who need in Nigeria.”