Determined to pursue the fight against breast cancer with a new vigour, a Breast Cancer Management Centre is to be established in Ondo State.
The State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, made the promise in his address at the 20th anniversary of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, BRECAN, and 3rd International Breast Cancer Symposium held at the International Event Center, The DOME
The programme was well attended by notable people in and out of the country, among whom are the wife of Kebbi state governor, Dr Zainab Bagudu, wife of Kwara state governor, Mrs Omolewa Ahmed among other dignitaries.
The governor, who reiterated his commitment to the fight, said that he has strong belief in advocacy of BRECAN.
" I believe in your advocacy and I will do what I can for BRECAN because it is for people of Ondo State in particular and Nigeria in general.
"We will establish breast cancer management centre. We will pursue this with what we have and it will be done.
"It will be given to architect to be designed because breast cancer must be vigorously fought," he promised. The governor solicited for support for breast cancer awareness campaign and to help those in dire need to combat breast cancer. According to him, all hands must be on deck to fight the disease, calling on women to have proper knowledge of the scourge.
He therefore thanked BRECAN founder, Mrs Betty Ayanwu-Akeredolu, the First Lady of the state and other members of the association for their unrelenting efforts to create proper awareness on cancer.
Also speaking, Dr Prof. Isaac Adewole,the Minister for Health, said that Federal Government, in line with cancer control plan, had gone ahead to commence a process of establishing dedicated cancer chemotherapy wards in nine federal tertiary institutions across the country.
Adewole,who was represented by Dr Victor Adetiloye, the Chief Medical Director ( CMD), University Teaching Hospital, Ile Ife,noted that the centre would be provided with the necessary equipment to provide adequate supportive care which has been lacking in hospitals.
He added that FG had also started a process of reducing the cost of cancer drugs by 50 per cent in hospitals by direct pooled procurement to ensure availability of quality and cost-effective chemotherapy agents in the country.
According to him, the initiatives will make cancer treatment relatively affordable by patients.
The minister thanked BRECAN for its 20 years of doggedness and resolute firmness to fight the scourge, saying it was a good forum to discuss way forward on breast cancer.
Earlier, the BRECAN founder, Mrs Betty Ayanwu-Akeredolu had said that BRECAN was a beacon of hope for womenfolk, stressing that breast cancer could be defeated.
"I am ready to tell anyone, who cares to listen that, breast cancer can be defeated if we do right thing at right time.
"I am proud of BRECAN achievements recorded so far and the struggle continues," she said.
She decried the continued rising cases of the scourge on daily basis and said that BRECAN would continue to support movement to help as regards breast cancer.
"We do provide platform for local and international groups to render assistance in waging war against breast cancer and provision of modern techniques.
"And we are to introduce comprehensive initiatives to Ondo State Government to support our programmes and I will continue to mount pressure on Mr Governor, who has promised to be of help and I know he will not renege his promise," she stated.
In his paper tagged 'Attitude towards Breast Cancer in Nigeria: The Way Forward, Prof. Friday Okonofua, Vice Chancellor of University of Medical Sciences, Ondo,Ondo State, recommended intensive awareness and information dissemination.
"Prevention should be taken more seriously in Nigeria not curative aspects.The most important thing is to have early detection and report immediately because waiting more than 30 days is risky.
"It is the awareness campaign as being done by BRECAN and not radiotherapy that can stop its spread. Okonofua added that late detection, poor knowledge about the disease, low self-assessment, erroneous religious belief among others contributed immensely to the rise of the disease."