Some breast cancer survivors on Saturday said exercise and self-breast examination are critical in attaining healthy living and long life.
Mrs Chioma Ikejiani, a Gender Activist with Jaytees Wellbeing, said this at a Cancer Awareness walk organised by Jaytees Clothes and Accessories in collaboration with Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) and Pathcare Laboratories, among other stakeholders, in Abuja.
Newsmen report that the walk is part of activities to commemorate this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness month.
The month, marked every October worldwide, was to increase awareness on measures to ensure early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease.
“Exercise on cancer gives you longevity, exercise is very critical without it your survivor rate will be poor.
“Cancer is a growing ageing chronic disease so it is important for women to be sensitive of doing self-breast awareness and if they feel anything they must go to doctor to get the right treatment at the right time,’’ she said.
Narrating her ordeal, Ikejiani said she was diagnosed of having stage four breast cancer in Canada which is the last and worst of all breast cancer cases but all through she was healthy.
According to her, after undergoing chemotherapy from September last year till February she was advised by the oncologist on regular exercise which put an end to the tumor.
“I started to walk, exercise and sold my car so that I won’t be tempted to go to work. I did not want any family member unlike some others out there when they have such challenges they conclude that it is the end of live and need families around them.
“It was like a project to me. I read everything I felt I could, my oncologist and I did everything that he told me to do including exercise and gradually my tumour went from 11cm to three and zero and today I am free from it.
“I was placed on every three months medication that functions in blocking the growth of oestrogen that grows cancer,’’ she said.
Ikejiani, who identified breast cancer as an ageing and chronic disease, advised women above 50 years to embrace self-breast examination.
She attributed rate of cancers and it associated death rate to ignorance and stigma, adding that cancer can be cured when detected early enough.
Ikejiani explained that some women after observing lumps in their breast hide their feelings because they felt it would go with time.
According to her, such attitude will make the cancer to grow bigger and bigger and spread to other parts of the body then it will be difficult to treat.
Also Mrs Jane Olobayo who described cancer as time bomb urged women to make it a duty to do self-breast examination as often as possible to ascertain their actual health status.
Olobayo emphasised that prevention is better than cure, adding that it is more costly to cure diseases than preventing them.
Narrating her ordeal, she noted that when she went for mammography she was diagnosed of cancer in 2010 and opted for its immediate removal.
According to her, between 2010 and 2011 she was placed on medication and seven years after she is healthy and alive.
Mrs Lola Orelu, Director, Jaytees Clothes and Accessories, said the organisation decided to champion the course of the awareness walk due to the prevalence of cancer all over the world.
Orelu noted the walk was aimed giving back to their customers to enable them know their actual health status.
Describing breast cancer as a major health challenge worldwide, she emphasised that if the scourge was not addressed in the next one year over one million cases of breast cancers would be detected.
She underscored early detection and regular exercise as key in addressing its prevalence.
“We just felt that creating awareness in form of advocacy on what to do is a measure toward early detection which is key.
“Though causes of breast cancer are not known but healthy living like exercises among others makes your body respond better than any treatment you will undergo.
“Like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, among others, are a beat reduced when you have a healthy lifestyle, you eat well and exercise regularly,’’ Orelu said.