Breast cancer: Consistent screening, early detection saved my life— Dame Abimbola Fashola

Nigerian women have  again been admonished to go for regular breast cancer screening as a means of ensuring they are protected from the menace of the disorder which kills more women than any other type of cancer in the country.

File Photo: Breast examination

Speaking in Lagos last week at the flag off of the MTN Foundation, MTNF, Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, to kick off the free breast cancer screening exercise, wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dame Abimbola Fashola, a breast cancer survivor, said consistent screening and early detection saved her from the killer disease. ‘”Early detection and screening is the reason I am alive today.


“This initiative is a welcome idea as more people will become better informed about this silent killer disease and participate in the free screening provided by MTN at the MTN Foundation mammography centres across the country,” Fashola said.

Breast cancer kills one in every 25 Nigerian women and an annual screening guarantees prevention of untimely death.

The World Health Organisation, WHO, has declared breast cancer the number one cancer scourge. One in eight women has a lifetime risk.

The free nationwide screening initiative, is a corporate social investment vehicle of MTN Nigeria, to commemorate the annual global awareness on the scourge of breast cancer held every October.

The exercise was organised for 1,500 beneficiaries across the six geopolitical regions of Nigeria, in partnership with Deux Projects.

Medical Director, Optical Cancer Care Foundation, Dr. Femi Olaleye, said the incidence of breast cancer is one in 25, but because Nigerian women are not screened regularly, it’s actually a death sentence.

“Here in Nigeria, most of the diagnoses are made when it is too late, thereby leading to several needless and painful deaths of our beloved mothers, sisters, aunts, friends and colleagues.

One or two in every 25 Nigerian women are at risk of breast cancer, but higher risks exist for women who are older than 45, older than 30 at birth of their first child, and women with family history,” he added.

Olaleye who gave a demonstration of Breast Self Examination, BSE, to check for lumps, thickenings and nipple discharge. Medical practitioners were also available to perform clinical breast examination and offer free advisory services.


As part of the awareness, MTN executives, stakeholders and key influencers participated in a road-show which kicked off from Falomo roundabout and terminated at Freedom Park, Marina, Lagos.

MTNF Director, Mr. Akinwale Goodluck, said the initiative, which underscores the essence of the Foundation to positively impact the lives of Nigerians, will be providing free breast cancer screening at MTN Mammography centers nationwide.

“They are located at the General Hospital, Marina, Lagos State; Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Kogi State; Federal Medical Centre, Nguru, Yobe State; Usmanu Dan Fodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto State; University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu State and Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State,” he added.

The walk will be replicated in Edo, Enugu, Sokoto, Yola and Kogi, to sensitise the public about breast cancer with medical practitioners and specialists on ground to enlighten people and encourage women to get screened at designated points.

Early detection can help put a check on several needless and painful deaths of our women” Goodluck said.

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