Representatives of Pink Pearl Foundation and Oaken Events at the Press Conference
By Nseobong Okon-Ekong
Pink Pearl Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), which is reckoned as a force against cancer, has demonstrated its dedication and determination in eradicating breast and cervical cancer in Nigeria and outside.
The NGO is creating awareness in several states in Nigeria and has launched over 40 programmes to support the cause against the dreadful disease. The body has literarily crossed the borders by taking breast and cervical cancer awareness and screening to the neighboring country of Cameroon.
In doing this, the PPF has shown its determination to reduce the rising mortality rate which cancer causes in Africa each passing day. The foundation continues to save lives and give hope.
In the spirit of enlightening and empowering the less fortunate African women, marking their National Women’s Day in Cameroon, Dr. Lydia Fondufe of the North-west province; Kumbo, invited Pink Pearl Foundation to partner and provide free lecture and screening on breast and cervical cancer to the women of the city. The event took place at the ministry of health, sub-divisional hospital, Kumbo, Cameroon recently. The PPF team, led by its founder, Mrs Orode Ryan-Okpu and senior partner, Mr. Onye Ubanatu, were joined by medical partners from Diamond Helix Hospital; Dr. Ufuoma Okotete and Dr. Vivian Mbaba.
In Nigeria and many African countries, statistics are hardly available to measure the degree of devastation wrecked on the womenfolk by these medical condition, but breastcancer.org discloses statistics in the US, which takes into account women from different races. For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer. Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. Just under 30% of cancers in women are breast cancers.
The event kicked off with lectures from Dr. Ufuoma on the essence of early detection for symptoms. Mrs. Orode lent her voice in saying ‘those already with the disease shouldn’t be stigmatized, rather they should be cared for and loved, all they need is hope’. The women were taken through a session Breast Self-Examination (BSE) with emphasis on the need for regular mammography tests and checkups. The attendees were given a chance to ask questions, to which Drs. Ufuoma and Vivian satisfyingly answered.
According to breastcancer.org, white women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than African-American women. However, in women under 45, breast cancer is more common in African-American women than white women. Overall, African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer. Asian, Hispanic, and Native-American women have a lower risk of developing and dying from breast cancer. In 2011, there were more than 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the US. A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. About 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it.
A free breast and cervical cancer screening later followed after the training session. Of the 175 women screened, 16 were found to have lumps/mass tissues in their breast while 67 were diagnosed with cervicitis, discolorations or discharges.
The closing statement was given by Ubanatu, who urged the women to spread the word to other women who weren’t able to attend the event,. The women equally thanked the team for enlightening and broadening their minds to the scope of breast and cervical cancer.