Over 150 women in the Ikotun area of Lagos State recently benefited from The Goodway Foundation Breast and Cervical Cancer Awareness Outreach.
The women went through cervical and breast cancer screening for free while those who were detected to have either breast or cervical cancer were scheduled for treatment.
Speaking during the event, the Founder, The Good Way Foundation, Ms Chioma Ikokwu, said, “We are here in this community in Ikotun where we are performing a Medical Outreach for breast cancer, cervical cancer screening, as well as testing of blood sugar for diabetes, and a few other medical conditions that women might potentially have but do not even know that they have.
On what birthed the idea of bringing a medical outreach to the community, Ikokwu said, “The Good Way Foundation pretty much focuses on poverty alleviation, education and the general health care and welfare of women and children in our community. So The Good Way Foundation has decided to carry out this Medical Outreach because last month, as we know, was Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“We weren’t able to do this last month due to logistical issues, but we decided to do it this month because a lot of women in Nigeria have breast cancer. Over 70,000 people die from cancer in Nigeria, just generally. And a very high percentage, about 25% of that is breast cancer. And that’s the most common form of cancer. So it only makes sense that we started with breast cancer and cervical cancer, which is the second most common cancer in women in the world.”
Ikokwu who said the Ikotun area of Lagos was chosen because of her passion for the area and also that it was one of her five adopted communities, added, “I am particularly passionate about this community because there are so many women here who are single mothers, or widows and they have children which they are looking after and also looking after themselves. I just have a soft spot for women, especially single mothers who have to look after their children by themselves.”
She explained further that women who are found to have lumps in their breasts would be treated, noting, “Apparently, with breast cancer is not just a lump, there are so many ways of detecting breast cancer – when they feel it, apparently your nipples might be swollen, you could have lumps, you can like be secreting juices from your breast and not even realise that it’s cancer. And so today by checking or feeling, the medical professionals will be able to detect the women that have breast cancer or potentially have breast cancer. And if we do find women who have breast or cervical cancer, we plan on treating these sets of women.”
The Good Way Foundation CEO lamented how very expensive it was to treat Cancer, noting, “Nobody in this community can treat themselves if they do have cancer. It costs on between anywhere from 2 million, to 6 million to 20 million depending on how severe the cancer is. And at what stage is found? So we are hoping that you know, we potentially find women who are at early stages that we can manage and treat.
About 150 women were screened with the hope that nobody had breast or cervical cancer. Ikokwu however said the foundation was ready to treat at least 10 women with breast or cervical cancer.
“Moving forward, we do good the good way; we do as much as we can. Right now the foundation is self-funded, and there’s only so much you can do when you put your funds to a cause like this. If we’re able to get more funding then we’re able to you know, do a lot more. We want to be able to go to different communities with impoverished women, and, like, carry this out again, this Medical Outreach, test them for breast cancer, cervical cancer, all sorts of diseases. We’d even do UTI tests. As I said, blood sugar for diabetes, and just things that they typically would not spend their money on because they really can’t afford to.