Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has called for more enlightenment from all stakeholders to stem the spread of cancer.
The governor made this call during a cancer awareness programme organised by a non-governmental organization in Enugu, noting that cancer-related deaths account for high mortality rates recorded across the world.
“Statistics shows that cancer is currently one of the world greatest killer diseases. It is responsible for more than seven million deaths per year, more than malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDs combined,” declared the governor who was represented by his deputy, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo.
He noted that “of the various types of cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women world over, particularly in Nigeria. It accounts for one out of four cancer cases with seventy percent mortality rate”.
Earlier, the chairman of the occasion and former minister of power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, blamed the high mortality rate arising from the disease on ignorance, poverty and fear of stigmatization.
The former minister said, “My wife’s friend had the symptom, she did not go for screening and treatment until very late. Cancer treatment is very expensive and over ninety percent of Nigerians if affected cannot afford the treatment. That calls for early detection and treatment since it has claimed many productive Nigerians at the young ages of forty and fifty”.
Prof. Nebo noted that the current Breast Without Spot (BWS) campaign will enable Nigerian women be enlightened on quick intervention mechanism and commanded the organizers for their painstaking effort.
The organizer of the event, Prof. Ifeoma Okoye, explained that her passion to assist indigent breast cancer patients given the high cost of treatment were her reasons for establishing the NGO.
“We know that cancer treatment is very expensive, but it is not a death sentence. It can be prevented or treated if detected early. Treatment ranges from chemotherapy, thermotherapy, or even surgery and follow up treatment, this is why we chose the theme, ‘I Can Make a Difference’. You and all of us can make a difference in the campaign,” she said, thanking Governor Ugwuanyi for his support.