University Don Advocates for Awareness Campaign On Breast Cancer


A university don, Prof. Adenike Olayemi Akhigbe on Thursday advocated the urgent need for awareness campaign to drastically reduce cases of breast cancer among women in the country, saying that even health workers had such an embarrassing low level of awareness of the ailment.

Akhigbe made the call while delivering the 312th inaugural lecture of the University of Benin with topic, “Seeing the Unseen: Medical Imaging to the Rescue.,” .

Akhigbe, who is a professor of radiology said late presentation has been observed to be the hallmark of breast cancer in Nigeria adding that there is a very poor knowledge about the risk factors for breast cancer.

Akhigbe, who stressed the need for a robust awareness campaign to tackle breat cancer ailments
said reduction in breast cancer mortality has been reported in developed countries from population studies.

She noted that Africa was far behind developed countries, who have established national screening programmes for breast cancer, lamenting that there is no established screening programme in Nigeria.

“Late presentation of breast cancer in Nigeria has been linked to poverty, ignorance, poor access to care and under-education among other possible causes but health beliefs and cancer fatalism has been found to influence participation in breast cancer screening programme in other studies.

“The effects of health beliefs fatalism on the practice of breast cancer screening was accessed among 225 women between the age of 30 to 60 years , using Champions Health Belief Model Scale and Powe Cancer Fatalism Scale.

“We found that a higher percentage of the women do not perform Breast Self-Examination (BSE) regularly and majority of the women have never had mammography done.

“The study showed significant barriers from the health belief model and high level of breast cancer fatalism that impact negatively on the practice of the two main screening methods, BSE and mammography.

“There is a need for us to understand the psychological and psychosocial barriers that deter Nigerian women from having breast cancer awareness as well as routine screening. Such information can be useful in putting together culturally relevant awareness literature and media content that address these barriers. “Akhigbe said.

In her remarks, Vice Chancellor, University of Benin, Prof. Lilian Salami represented by Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof Adesina Ayinde said the topic was apt as it aims to advance the field of medical imaging while prioritizing patient care and safety.

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