The Medicaid Cancer Foundation (MCF), has lit up the National Mosque and the Ecumenical centre to raise awareness of Cancer as the world commemorates the 2023 World Cancer Day.
Mrs Hadiza Arome, Senior Programme Manager, MCF, on Friday in Abuja, said that the country was joining the rest of the world to make a statement by lighting up a significant landmark, monument or building to be illuminated on World Cancer Day in the colours of orange and blue.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN), reports that over the years, International and local cancer organisations come together to create awareness by lighting up national monuments such as the Faisal mosque (Pakistan), The House of Wisdom (UAE), Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge and Galata Tower (Istanbul).
Amongst others are the St. Mary’s Church (Slough), Ely Cathedral (Cambridgeshire), Ancient Treasury (Petra), Palace of Westminster (UK), and BT Tower (London) In Nigeria MCF has lit City Gate (Abuja).
Arome said that World Cancer Day is more than a day on the calendar.
“That’s why the campaign is built to inspire change and mobilise action long after the day itself.
“A multi-year campaign means more exposure and engagement, more opportunities to build global awareness and ultimately more impact,” she explained.
She said that there was a good chance of prevention and survival if Breast and Cervical Cancer are detected in their early stage.
According to her, when some Nigerians hear cancer, the first thing that comes to mind is that it is a death sentence and a money-consuming illness, hence taking appropriate precautions to avert getting into advanced stages is key, which is why women need to be aware of this.
“Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer globally, with The National Mosque and Ecumenical centre light up in blue and orange to raise cancer awareness in Nigeria. About 2.6 million cases, according to the World Health Organisation.
She noted that some of its early symptoms include lumps, bloody discharge or discolouration, while advanced symptoms may translate to feeling unwell if it gets to the liver, with either spine or back pain.
“If you constantly check your breasts, then you will understand when there are signs. The only problem we have is that people present their cases to the doctor when it is already in the advanced stage. Early detection, screening and prevention are very important.”
“Every month for women, check your breasts. Go for Mammogram once you turn 40, because as good as your hands are, the procedure helps to detect properly.
“If you have a history in your family, then it should start earlier; ensure your lifestyle is tilted towards preventing cancer. Breast cancer examination is affordable while the treatment is quite expensive,” she advised.
Also speaking at the event, Mr Saviour kolo, Programme manager, MCF, said that World Cancer Day is the one singular initiative under which the entire world can unite together in the fight against the global cancer epidemic.
Kolo said that the day is also aimed to prevent millions of deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer and pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action against the disease.
According to him, Every single person can make a difference, large or small, but together the health community can make real progress in reducing the global impact of cancer.
NAN recalled that the theme for World Cancer Day 2022-2024 is Close the Care Gap.
Nigerians are also advised to acknowledge the day by wearing one of the cancer awareness ribbons.
A multi-coloured ribbon or lavender ribbon can be worn to acknowledge all cancers or a specific colour ribbon for a specific form of cancer can be worn.