Apr 30, 2009 - International Association Of Lions Clubs District 404B Campaign For Cancer Awareness In Women Population
Cancer, the subject matter of this seminar is a serious global public health issue that we need to pay great attention to. Although studies have shown that cancer has been around as long as mankind, the second half of the 20th century witnessed rapid increase in the cases of cancer especially in developing nations.
If statistics on past and present cases of cancer is worrisome, projected figures for the future are alarming. World Health Organisation report show that 72% of all cancer deaths in 2007 occurred in low and middle income countries to which our nation belongs. The report goes further to say that at least 7 million people die from cancer yearly, more than HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis combined. It has also been projected that this figure may rise to 9 million in 2015 and 12 million in 2030.
This indeed calls for action from all of us especially when we consider the fact that 40% of these deaths can actually be prevented with early detection, diagnosis and treatment.
Let me emphasise that the gloomy picture painted by these projections will only come to pass if we fail to do what is expected of us. I feel very delighted and gladdened by the efforts of the International Association of Lions Clubs District 404B in organising this awareness campaign targeted at the women population.
The greatest weapon we can use in the fight against cancer is public awareness. By its nature, symptoms of cancer take time to manifest and when it does, it may be too late for treatment. It is therefore absolutely necessary to educate every woman on a continuous basis on necessary steps to take to ensure that symptoms of cancer, particularly breast cancer which has been identified as the leading cause of cancer deaths in women in Nigeria, are detected and diagnosed early before it gets too late. Beyond this, I think it is also important that we take a step further by developing strategies that will encourage women to actually put into practice these preventive measures such as doing simple breast examination, exercising regularly and to avoid unhealthy lifestyles that are prone to cancer.
I believe the most important requirement is our commitment and determination to accomplish and avoid needless deaths of women that result in economic loss and psychological trauma for the family and society at large.
Let us make a pledge that we will ensure that all women around us will be advised and supported to go for Clinical Breast Screening and Mammogram test yearly. We must ensure that women within our household also do this; remember practise what you preach. Kindly plead with women who are yet to do this and inform them of the advantages and disadvantages.
Once again, I commend this effort of the Lions Club International District 404B, Nigeria and wish you all a rewarding seminar.
God bless you all.
Mrs. Abimbola Fashola
First Lady of Lagos State