Medicwatch speak on the facts about breast cancer in Nigeria
Breast Cancer affects 2 in 10 women through the course of their lifetime. It is stated that there are over 100 thousand cases of breast cancer per year in Nigeria. It is a growing disturbance especially in Africa where the health awareness rate is low. It is usually detected in late stages, and thus is late or requires a lot of money, emotional strain, and surgery to take care of.
Is there a solution? Health Awareness is key, WHO in a study says that when self-checks are done and health-seeking behavior is practiced there is a more healthy environment and cases of major illnesses are reduced, how then do we protect ourselves against this issue.
Self Breast Check is an effective way to protect your breasts, MedicWatch in partnership with other health workers came together to conduct a poll to see how many women knew how to do a breast self-check and the results were alarming only 6 women in 10 knew about breast self-check and only 4 knew how to actually perform the check, 1 actually performed the check AMD the other 1 just didn’t care.
This is a cause of concern, a self-breast check is an important way to detect breast cancer early when it is most likely to be treated successfully. We know this and as a means to put in our quota to support and improve health-seeking behavior, MedicWatch with the use of animations released some videos across 7 languages (English, Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Swahili, French and Sign Language)
The self-breast check videos released are aimed to teach and educate all including men on the importance of checking the breast and how easy and short it is, other videos released by MedicWatch such as the importance of drinking water and the sorts are focused on building a healthy environment.
Yes, the use of animations is not very cheap but putting in their quota contributes to general overall healthy seeking behavior. We hope you watch these videos, practice them and enjoy a good life.
MedicWatch is a social project that uses animations and social media to dispel health myths and provide health information across 7 languages.
A healthy seeking lifestyle can be achieved and it begins with ME and YOU
Some quick facts:
Common breast cancer signs and symptoms include:
- A lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit. You might feel the lump, but not see it.
- Changes in the size or shape of the breast
A change in skin texture i.e. puckering or dimpling of the skin
- A change in the color of the breast – the breast may look red or inflamed
- Rash, crusting or changes to the nipple
- Any unusual discharge from either nipple
If your doctor has assessed your family history and determined that you have other factors, such as a precancerous breast condition, that increase your risk of breast cancer, you may discuss options to reduce your risk, such as:
- Preventive medications (chemoprevention). Estrogen-blocking medications, such as selective estrogen receptor modulators and aromatase inhibitors, reduce the risk of breast cancer in women with a high risk of the disease. These medications carry a risk of side effects, so doctors reserve these medications for women who have a very high risk of breast cancer. Discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor. She/he may also recommend you do a mammography and possible a biopsy to access your risk.
- Preventive surgery. Women with a very high risk of breast cancer may choose to have their healthy breasts surgically removed (prophylactic mastectomy). They may also choose to have their healthy ovaries removed (prophylactic oophorectomy) to reduce the risk of both breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Veteran actress Hollywood Angelina Jolie had her breasts, ovaries and uterus removed in 2013 because she is from a family with a positive history of breast cancer and gene testing revealed she had 80 percent chance of developing breast malignancy.
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