The Founder /Chief Executive, The Pink Pearl Foundation, Mrs. Orode Okpu has stated that her outfit is offering free breast cancer screening and consultation for 500 women in Lagos as part of activities to mark October as World Breast cancer awareness month.
In a statement made available to THISDAY, Okpu explained that the provision of the free breast cancer screening and consultation at two select locations on the mainland, and on the island, was designed to encourage people to exercise regularly, and help them see how they can reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.
The free breast cancer screening and consultation would take place at the two locations in Ikeja and Lekki Phase 1. The screenings would take place simultaneously from 9:00am-4:00pm.
An estimated 20,000 breast cancer cases are recorded in Nigeria annually and The Pearl Foundation, a public service charity organisation, has taken the lead in the sensitization drive against it.
The event is part of the “October 2013 Pink Ride” holding on October 12 from 8:00am – 2:00pm and will be flagged off by wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola.
She said in the statement that during the event, professional cyclists from the Life Style Cycling Club, Port Harcourt, would ride through a mapped-out route in Lagos.
The mapped-out route is from Ikeja-Oshodi-Festac- Surulere- Victoria Island- Lekki- Ikoyi- Marina-3rd Mainland Bridge- Ikeja.
“With evidence that exercising regularly reduces the risk of breast cancer, there have been attempts at encouraging the habit over the years. Essentially, riding a bicycle is a form of exercise with numerous other health benefits as well, such as releasing stress, increasing balance, endurance, and stability, burning calories, and increasing cardiovascular fitness (good heart condition); amongst many others,” she said.
Okpu said the four objectives behind the Pink Ride Lagos initiative are: “We are aiming at reaching at least 18 million Lagosians with the message of early detection of breast cancer; helping them understand the reality of this killer-disease, and the need to be breast aware, and be proactive about it.
“Keeping fit is very important. Breast cancer is a sad phenomenon. Pink Ride Lagos is our fun, happy and interesting way of bringing the message of life to as many as we can reach.”
She stated further that unlike past rides, interested individuals could join the ride by paying N5,000. This fee, she added, gives them a place on the cycling team, a cycling jersey, and refreshment during the ride.
In a related event, an oncologist from the Diamond Helix Hospital, Lagos, Dr. Vivian Mbaba has urged women to embrace periodic screening to reduce the burden of breast cancer, which is the second leading cause of death in women.
Speaking in a lecture and screening at the Liberty House, Evangel Pentecostal Church, Lekki, Mbaba said about 80 percent of breast cancers occur in women older than 50 years. Therefore, he advised women not to trivialise any lump on their breasts even thoughnot all lumps are cancerous.
She listed causes of cervical cancer to include having multiple sexual partners; giving birth before the age of 17 years, smoking as well as contracting other sexually-transmitted diseases pre-dispose victims to the disease.
The coordinator of the Foundation, Miss Anita Ajoku advised women to go for the screening and not to be terrified as people always believed that the cost of screening is expensive.