In Nigeria Awareness is one of the major challenges faced by both male and female,many Nigerians believed breast cancer is a “white woman’s disease”, something that could never happen to them.
According to FOX CHASE CANCER CENTER Patients are experiencing better outcomes as a result of early diagnosis, state-of-the-art treatment options, and less extensive surgery.Early detection of Breast Cancer is one of the major factors in determining the treatment outcome and as such we should be vigilant viewing cancer as a menace that could be present in our life as it is no respecter of race, tribe or religion. BRECAN (Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria) founded by Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu is an active organisation providing support for breast cancer awareness and fight stigmatisation of those affected by breast cancer. IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES. Limited resource settings with weak health systems where breast cancer incidence is relatively low and the majority of women are diagnosed in late stages have the option to implement early diagnosis programmes based on awareness of early signs and symptoms and prompt referral to diagnosis and treatment. What Are Some Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer? Every woman should know how her breasts normally look and feel, so she can recognize any changes that may occur. “While knowing what to look for is important, a woman should still get her regular mammograms and clinical breast exams, as these tests can help detect breast cancer before she even has symptoms Signs of breast cancer may include: Lump in the breast or underarm (armpit) Swelling or thickening of all or part of the breast Dimpling or skin irritation of breast skin Localized, persistent breast pain Redness, scaliness or thickening of the nipple or breast skin Nipple discharge (other than breast milk) Any change in the size or shape of the breast. Note: Can have no symptoms. so a check up once in a while is required. EARLY DIAGNOSIS AND SCREENING Early diagnosis of cancer focuses on detecting symptomatic patients as early as possible so they have the best chance for successful treatment. Screening is a different strategy than early diagnosis. It is defined as the presumptive identification of unrecognized disease in an apparently healthy, asymptomatic population by means of tests, examinations or other procedures that can be applied rapidly and easily to the target population. WHO(world health Organization) supports Member States to develop and implement cancer early diagnosis and screening programmes, according to assessed feasibility and cost-effectiveness of screening, and with adequate capacity to avoid delays in diagnosis and treatment. PREVENTION Between 30% and 50% of cancer deaths could be prevented by modifying or avoiding key risk factors and implementing existing evidence-based prevention strategies. The cancer burden can also be reduced through early detection of cancer and management of patients who develop cancer. Prevention also offers the most cost-effective long-term strategy for the control of cancer avoiding the following key risk factors can help prevent cancer: 1-Avoid tobacco use, including cigarettes and smokeless tobacco 2-maintain a healthy weight 3-eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables 4-exercise regularly 5-limit alcohol use 6-practice safe sex 7- get vaccinated against hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV) 8-reduce exposure to ultraviolet radiation and ionizing radiation (occupational or medical diagnostic imaging) 9-avoid urban air pollution and indoor smoke from household use of solid fuels 10-get regular medical care 11-some chronic infections are also risk factors for cancer. People in low- and middle-income countries are more likely to develop cancer through chronic infections.