Betty Akeredolu Stresses Need For Statistical Records On Breast Cancer Survivors Nationwide

The wife of the Ondo State Governor, Mrs Betty Akeredolu has stressed the need for the Federal Government to have proper statistical records of the survivors of breast cancer nationwide.

Akeredolu made this known while addressing newsmen as part of activities marking the 25th Anniversary and 4th International Breast Cancer symposium of the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, (BRECAN) in Ibadan on Saturday.

She said the call for proper documentation of survivors became imperative in order to give hope to cancer patients nationwide.

She also lamented the rigours and pains that some breast cancer patients and survivors are going through due to a lack of institutional support.

He added that treatment of breast cancer is very expensive which makes life unbearable for some of the victims.

She noted that a lot of Nigerian women are dying needlessly as a result of breast cancer, stating that access to affordable breast cancer treatment has become a big problem for some of the victims.

“Government should lessen access to treatment for breast cancer by providing facilities and machines at treatment centres because the treatment is huge, when people don’t have money and can not afford it, they end up in dying untimely,” she stated.

The BRECAN President, while speaking on the theme of this year’s anniversary: “Closing the data gap for precision cancer control in Nigeria” said there is a need to close the gap in data collection of breast cancer victims and survivors across the nation.

She said it’s high time for Nigeria as a nation to have its own statistics to know if truly women are surviving breast cancer and to cater for the well-being of the victims.

Akeredolu who is also a survivor of breast cancer maintained that BRECAN has become the voice for the voiceless for breast cancer patients and survivors, adding that its activities have motivated a lot of women to show up in hospitals for screening and treatment.

I have put it behind me, it started 25years ago. Although it was traumatic when it started, with the support of my husband and the children as well as the entire family, I have been able to pull through. My state of mind also helped.

“The positive attitude during difficult times sometimes makes someone pull through. My children have been my anchor!

“That’s why I summoned the courage to be the voice of the breast cancer victims.

“Before I started, most of the women were under the table and hiding in the wardrobe because they don’t want anybody to know. Because of me, they braced up and they have been going to the hospital.

“That most of the survivors of breast cancer are rich individuals might not be totally wrong because the burden of treating breast cancer is huge. The capital outlay is huge, that’s why it looks as if the rich survive it.

“We have embarked on some interventions, we want to become a one-stop shop where women can get adequate information on cancer, and the hallmark of this celebration is to showcase that women still survive cancer.”

She, however, called for support towards funding the association so that it can continue to grow as well as extend to the 36 states of the federation.

“The government is not supporting and that’s why most of the patients give up and prefer to die. But it shouldn’t be!

“The government should make breast cancer treatment accessible. Then, those that will resign to fate would drastically reduce.”