October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with special attention being paid to supporting and creating awareness, early detection, treatment and palliative care of breast cancer.
While breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women the world over, the most prominent narrative neglects and pays little or no atten-tion to the other constituency prone to breast cancer. This poses the risk of neglecting such and will result in breast cancer affecting some and the sad trend will con-tinue unabated.
After being interviewed by the Voice of America’ Studio 7, I did talk about the scourge, went further to bring this issue up for discussion, and, possibly up for the much needed interventions. Indeed breast cancer affects women the most, but I feel we ought to provoke and in-voke debate around men being prone to breast cancer as well. Some men are also prone to breast cancer, and, Oc-tober as with every other month of the year, ought to be utilised to also educate men and boys about their susceptibility to the scourge, the tell tale signs, the effects and the treatment for the disease. So is the need to educate them on how to live with the dis-ease and living with those affected and infected. We should purpose-fully begin conversations around statistics and databases for male victims and survivors, as well as
support mechanisms available, screening and making screening affordable and accessible to both women and men. World Health Or-ganisation (WHO) statistics show that four hundred and fifty eight thousand (458 000) women die of breast cancer every year, and definitely an unknown number of males also die from breast cancer, hence the call to also deal with the disease in men.
Furthermore, there is great need to intensify the awareness, early detection and palliative care against all other types of cancers which are mercilessly decimating our male and fe-male populations. Cervical cancer, prostate cancer, bone cancers, blood cancers, skin can-cers and all other cancer types continue to kill our people in their numbers. It is also good to note that something can be done, choices are ours, some cancer causing habits can be avoided or done away with and treatment can be provided, however, affordability and ac-cessibility must be enhanced.
Africa still harbours and battles some beliefs that traditional methods are more effective than modern conventional methods and medicines in combating cancer. We can not afford to ignore these, but must call upon all stakeholders to work together to fight the scourge by finding long term solutions to combating this deadly killer in our midst. Am quite positive we stand to gain immense syn-ergies out of the purposeful and deliberate collaborations between all stakeholders.
National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. re-ports that both men and women are born with breast cells and tissues. Even though men’ s breast do not produce milk, their breast cells and tissue can still develop can-cer. Men actually carry a higher mortality than women do, primarily because awareness among men is less and they are less likely to assume a lump in breast cancer, which can cause a delay in seeking treatment.
Both males and females must immediately contact their doctors once they notice any-thing unusual about their breasts. The Foun-dation further reports that survival rates and treatment for men with breast cancer are very similar to those for women. However, early detection of breast cancer increases treatment options and often reduces the risk of dying from breast cancer.
So, this October, lets all work to defeat breast cancer in both men and women. The very dif-ficult but only necessary road to defeating breast cancer starts with awareness, early detection & screening, and making the con-scious decisions and choices to stay healthy and cancer free. Lets fight cancer, lets have a cancer free generation and society. Get screened, accept and not deny, get treated. Above all, lets support those who have cancer in order to defeat it. Lets learn how to live with those infected and affected.
We can defeat breast cancer and indeed all other cancers. Stay positive as we live, love and matter.