A Professor of Radiology at the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ifeoma Okoye, has said patients diagnosed with breast cancer are entitled to the right information on how they can be supported.
Okoye said this during a virtual media roundtable to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Metastatic Breast Cancer Day organised by Pfizer.
She said, “It is crucial for patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or even metastatic breast cancer to have the right information and expectations. It is our duty to encourage them to have open conversations with their health care team to understand how they can be supported but also how they can participate in their own care – taking an active role in their treatment can help them feel empowered in making the best decisions for themselves.”
The Medical Director, sub-Saharan Africa, Pfizer, Dr.Kodjo Soroh, there was the need for more awareness to regularly encourage patients to check themselves for breast cancer and better understand the disease.
“At Pfizer, we remain committed to improving patients’ lives and supporting them at each step of their breast cancer experience. Across the region, patients are diagnosed with late or
“Over the past decade, improved diagnostics, and newer treatment options for late-stage breast cancer, including those with different gene abnormalities, offer new horizons and hope for these patients.
“We feel a deep obligation to advocate for people with breast cancer at every stage of their disease. Through our partnerships and programs we continue to create access to better screening services, clinical trials, treatment options and extended support to mental health and financial resources more so during life’s unexpected events, such as COVID-19,” Soroh said.
The roundtable addressed local metastatic breast cancer incidence, how it is diagnosed, who is at risk, steps to take to fight breast cancer and set the right expectation, as well as latest treatment advances.
According to the Globocan 2020 study, breast cancer is the commonest cancer in women in Nigeria and Ghana, accounting for 22.7 per cent of new cancer cases in Nigeria and 18.7 per cent of new ones in Ghana respectively in 2020.
Also, the World Health organisation noted that breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in women worldwide, with more than two million women impacted annually.