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Key To Combating Breast Cancer

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For prominent Nigerians and celebrities in the country, cancer is no longer an ailment to only imagine. It is one that is currently ravaging their ranks and reducing their numbers.Such was the case of two notable women. One  48-year-old Roseline Ogbemudia, wife of the eldest son of Dr Samuel Ogbemudia, former Governor of Edo State, and  the other victim, a popular socialite and sister of former Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, Evangelist Bimpe Oluwayose-Sorinolu. Roseline and Bimpe both battled breast cancer till death. While the former died in a hospital in India, the latter, died in a London hospital.
From first discovering a tiny growth on the left or  right breast to eventually having the entire section removed through a painful and expensive surgery, life has not been the same for breast cancer survivors. Some of them eventually live from hand to mouth after losing their main source of income and other material assets in the course of battling with their situation. Regrettably, some have  had  their entire physiognomy  changed, virtually looking like the shadow of themselves and in most cases, the wounds  far from healing.. A victim once painfully said, “I wish the day I felt that tiny growth on my breast which I thought was mere fat cyst never came. If  I had known that it was a cancerous lump growing in my breast, I would have paid more attention. Maybe that would have made the difference,”
From the experiences of many women under the breast cancer scourge, the world has refused to renege on its effort at getting the populace more aware of the enigma and how to combat it. In a couple of days from now, the Gregorian calender would turn its back on October, the 10th month of the year. But even though it be gone, the month ‘October’, has so much to be remembered of. For women  across the globe the awareness created about ‘breast cancer’, cannot be forgotten in a hurry. For once, the phobia  they have had over the years of the monster called breast cancer, as a  death sentence is doused down. Now it is crystal clear that  breast cancer though  a traumatic health challenge, is curable.
In  pursuance of this cause, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Rivers State,  appealed to government at all levels, politicians and philanthropists to provide free Chemotherapy Centres in the State. The association made the appeal during the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign organised in partnership with Engraced Life Foundation in Port Harcourt.
In  a statement by the  Chairperson, Mrs Susan Serekara-Nwikhana and Secretary, Dr Ngozi Anosike,  the body demanded that cancer treatments be made free so that everyone suffering from it can have access to free test and treatment, pointing out that such gesture will go a long way in reducing preventable deaths caused by cancer.
Maintaining that early detection saves lives, NAWOJ enumerated the importance of self breast examination so as to be able to detect lumps in the breast that might likely cause cancer and advised women to see their doctors once a lump is detected on any part of the breast.
The association observed with dismay that most of the women screened for free during the breast cancer awareness campaign in the State are suffering from breast cancer, but lack access to treatment due to poverty.
It expressed belief that establishment of free chemotherapy and cancer treatment centres in different locations in the state would reduce to the barest minimum the death of women who suffer from the deadly disease. The association,   in collaboration with Engraced Life Foundation,  embarked on some form of community outreach  to some communities within the state. Women in the visited communities had their vital signs examined,  and blood sugar tested..Thousands of women were screened for free, given medications especially  for the minor diagnosis while serious cases were referred to  concologists for further investigations and possible treatments.
Breast cancer, a disease that is characterised by the abnormal growth of cells in the breast (CDC, 2020). is the most common malignant disorder affecting women and the leading cause of death among them (Bray et al., 2004). The most common sign of breast cancer is a lump or thickening in the breast – but there are other symptoms too.They include:Change in size or feel of the breast,  Changes in the skin of the breast, such as dimpling or redness.Fluid leaking from the nipple, outside of pregnancy or breast feeding. Change in position of the nipple.These symptoms can be caused by other conditions any way.
Breast cancer  is characterised by cells lining the duct turning into cancerous cells but not spreading into nearby breast tissue through the walls of the duct. Ts is an early stage of breast cancer, most women having it can be cured.. Invasive Breast Cancer spread into surrounding breast. Most breast cancers fall into this category but the two most common types are invasive ductal carcinoma, which begins in the cells lining the milk duct, and invasive lobular carcinoma, which begins in the lobules of the breast.Triple-negative breast cancer is a type of cancer where the cancer cells do not have estrogen or progesterone receptors and also makes little of the HER2 protein. It grows and spreads faster than other forms of invasive breast cancer and accounts for about 10-15 per cent of all breast cancers.
The fourth is . Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) – IBC occurs as a result of cancer cells blocking the lymph vessels in the skin and therefore making the breast look inflamed. It is a rare form of breast cancer and accounts for only about 1-5% of all breast cancers.  Paget disease of the Breast  is a type of cancer that affects the nipples and areola of the breast. It is a rare form of breast cancer and usually only affects one breast. The majority of cases are found along with ductal carcinoma in situ or invasive ductal carcinoma. Angiosarcoma of the Breast. This rare type of breast cancer begins in the cells lining blood and lymph vessels. It is said to often be the result of complications of previous breast radiation treatment and tends to grow and spread rapidly.
Phyllodes Tumor. This is a tumor that develops in the connective tissue of the breast. It is a rare form of breast cancer and mostly occurs in women in their 40s. Most phyllodes tumors are  benign but 25 per cent are malignant.
In the case of Nigerian women, breast cancer tends to be diagnosed at an advanced stage and the chances of survival are low (Adebamowo & Adekunle, 1999, Ihekwaba, 1992). Women in the country are also more frequently diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer than women of European ancestry (Huo et al., 2009), with cases occurring at a much younger age (Adesunkanmi et al., 2006). As a result of the late presentation of the disease, the only options available are expensive treatment procedures, which may be unaffordable for the average Nigerian woman.
Though there is a high incidence of breast cancer in Nigeria, studies have shown that the majority of Nigerian women, both in rural and urban areas possess little or no knowledge about risk factors and symptoms of the disease (Motilewa et al., 2015, Olayide et al., 2017). In cases where women are aware of these, there is hesitation in seeking healthcare which results in untimely death. Religious, economic and socio-cultural factors have been shown to play a part in women’s attitude towards the disease (George et al., 2019, Pruitt et al., 2014). There is also a lack of knowledge on breast self-examinations (BSE) and who should conduct them, especially in rural areas (Nwaneri et al., 2016, Oladimeji et al., 2015).
Late Mrs Beatrice Mensah Osae, the beloved mother of AhmazingGrace Baaba Danso, was diagnosed in 2011 when she discovered a tumor in her left breast which grew bigger to the point it became inoperable. It burst and became an open sore on her chest and ate away at her breast even claiming her nipple. She had three chemo treatments which weakened her greatly till she switched to homeopathic treatment. This helped her regain her strength a bit but ultimately she succumbed to the disease and passed in September 2016. .
With the high incidence and mortality rate associated with breast cancer in low and middle income countries like Nigeria, there is a need for efforts to be made to create more awareness about the disease, especially among uneducated women and proper structures for early detection. With proper education of women in both rural and urban areas and affordable screening programmes developed, the chances of survival can be increased. Policies on the breast cancer detection and care also need to be developed and disseminated to aid healthcare workers make informed decisions.
Above all,  early diagnosis  which has been proven to improve survival chances, should be encouraged especially through the use of the media to spread the message of breast cancer, its  signs and symptoms, causes as well as management procedures.

By: Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi

 

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Women Can Build Formidable Marital Homes

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Building formidable marital homes starts before marriage. Single women also need to pick the right kind of person they think can build a formidable home with them.
When you marry the wrong person, the home will be a terrible place. Remember the person you will marry will leave with you forever as marriage is a life long affair.
To build a formidable marriage, you must consider who you marry. Ensure the person you pick mWomen can build formidable marital home with you.
The person you pick matters a lot. The quality of person determines the quality of marriage.
Marriage does not change people so it is important you understand who you marry early enough.
Marriage reveals who people are. A lot of people hide their characters and habit before marriage and showcase them when marriage is mature.
When you talk of marriage, you are talking about the future of your life, future of the children and all that concerns them. The way you manage your partner will encourage of discourage him or her.
A wife may have interest in doing a paid employed job, but the spouse may not allow her to do that. There are kinds of businesses that some women may want to engage in but their spouses will shut them down.
For Christians, it is expected that not much should be done about women in every circumstances since they can should build formidable marital homes.
It is assumed that as believers, they will understand each other. But two believers may have different doctrinal believes. Both may be Christians, your ideas may differ. Partners who are believers may not think the same way when it comes to giving in the things of God.
Most problems for couples is assumption. Two people must work together when they agree. A partner may like every contribution in church and giving to the need while his wife may be considering their level of income.
Marriage should be an intentional thing and nobody should be coerced into it. There should be no compromise. The idea of marrying because others are should not be the case.
Good marriages don’t make the news but bad ones do. It may interest you to know some women chase their husbands away from home. No matter the level of anger in a woman, it shouldn’t be that a woman uses harmful object on her husband.
When venturing into marriage, the issue of age should not discourage you. Yes, it is necessary but that can be your own time to get married. A situation where you lament that others are all married and rush into marriage, may be disastrous.
You must be prepared before going into marriage.
Marriage is not an employment where you can resign at a time you like. Even in employment, you give some notice for resignation. It is not easy to quit marriage. Consultation must be done from experts and stakeholders in marriage, that is why you don’t rush into marriage.
Before going into marriage, you must ask questions to know who you want to marry.
Remember, better woman will make better society.
When a husband and wife have disagreement in the home and the matter is reported to the elders in the local palace, the woman is always blamed and sometimes mandated to apologise to the husband.
That may appear humiliating. Some persons say it is wrong to judge the woman in the presence of the husband.
What about a situation where the man is at fault? The truth is not always said in the public or before the man and his wife.
Some people argue that it is a way of protecting the marriage and the man cn be cautioned behind the wife by his kinsmen.
Women should bear in mind that the elders in the family do not hate them by supporting the and asking the wife to appologise when disappointment occurs in the home.
Protection of the home as far as husband and wife are concerned is very important. There is the belief by men that if the man is blamed before the wife, that will warrant her to raise shoulders.
Elders also say that will prevent the woman from reporting every little issue that comes up in the home.
Women should not think that they are being cheated and should continue to be better builders of the home and society.
Acknowledging faults in issues relating to your marriage does not mean weakness but a sign that peace reigns in the home.
Remember, “home is a person”.

Eunice Choko-Kayode

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What Women Should Know In Marriage

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Every married person should be able to quit childish ways for a long lasting marriage.
Growing up in marriage means keeping the vows made during holy matrimony, obeying the rules guiding marriage. Love your spouse and treat him/her kindly. Growing up is being able to hold intelligent discussions with your partner.
Do not allow problems to make you expose your spouse in the public.
When married, you kick out childish behaviours. These days, you see a lot of people unable to manage their emotions well.
Do not take up relationship when you still think like a child. If you are not ready to take up responsibility, do not go into marriage. You may be having money or being financially buoyant, but maturity matters a lot. How you respond to issues matters a lot in your marriage. When arguments come up, it should not lead to a point where couples start destroying valuable items in the home.
Do not get angry all the time. Anger causes destruction in a home that might have been built for several years. Do not be like kids, who want to throw away toys when they get angry.
In marriage, the woman is responsible to the husband and the man should be accountable to the wife. Marriage requires new skills in communication if it will work well.
The woman needs to grow up to be able to manage the home. Managing the home is not a child’s play.
You have to build a home that will suit your taste. Sweet homes were built by people. When your spouse gets angry, you put yourself into his or her shoes. Showing empathy to each other will help to run the family smoothly.
Appreciating the woman who does all the house work alone is good. From childbearing through nurturing them till they become adults rest squarely on the woman.
Building formidable marriage is not just for two people but for everybody around them. The woman should care for her in-laws and others in her care. Treating other children like her biological children.
In marriage, treat your spouse better than you handle your phones. Priority should be given to your spouse instead of phones. Some women can get glued to their phones for a longer period instead of attending to their husbands. Activities in your phones should not take all your time as your spouse is more important than them.
Some men often complain about their wives’ addiction to their phones.
There was the issue of a woman that was accused by her husband about getting glued to her phone always and the reason she gave was that her husband was not coming home when he should come. She said as a result of that, she needed something to keep her busy.
Avoid the habit of sleeping with your phones. It is disrespectful when a spouse is talking to a partner and she is attending to a phone or internet. This is a habit women should work on as it is in many homes. Experts say that it leads to emotional gaps.
In marriage, communication is key. Communication must be a two- way thing. When a partner is talking, the other must respond and not just nodding his or her head.
Couples need to be together for bonding. Relationship with children is temporary while that with spouse is more permanent. When children grow up and get married, they will leave the home while husband and wife will live on forever. You see where husband and wife will be living in a big house.
A spouse should be able to accommodate eath other’s weakness.
Do you know that home is a person. Life can give you everything you desire but can be disastrous if there is no love.
Do not allow fear to rule you while trying to show love in building your home. A situation where you think that after building a home and it tears apart in future. This should be discouraged.
When you grow up in marriage, you build formidable marriage.

Eunice Choko-Kayode

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Women Can Eradicate Child Abuse In Homes

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It is disheartening to note how in the 21st century, some women abuse the rights of both their children and wards. No day passes without getting information on how a child was beaten with an object or harmful substance used on a child for little errors that should not lead to provocation.
The role of women in
curbing child abuse can never be over-emphasised.  Mothers are the ones who nurture and groom their offsprings and wards whether, biological children or adopted.
It is necessary that any child who falls under the supervision of a mother, be responsible to that woman.
Shaping the life of a child depends so much on the mother, even if certain percentage of care is being expected from a father.  The mother starts nurturing a child from age zero till the adolescent stage.  She should always do a follow-up at every stage of development of every child in her care.
Within the period of growth, if there are negative tendencies exhibited by the child, the mother should be able to identify before the child goes to school. This is because the child starts learning from the home.
When you talk about child abuse, it starts from the home and the way every child is treated matters a lot.
The menace called child abuse is something that every hands must be on deck to ensure it is eradicated in the society. The major agent of eradication is the mother.
There are various forms of child abuse.  You may discover that for every form of the menace, the woman is involved and should be held responsible for its consequences.
Of course, it is clear that child abuse does not have any positive impact on the society except the perpetrators of the act.  Some persons derive joy in seeing either their own children or other’s children being denied their rights to accomplish their own goals.
According to UNICEF in 1989, child abuse is the portion of harm to children that results from human action or inaction  that is proscribed, proximate and preventable.
The African Network for the Prevention or Protection against Child Abuse or Neglect (ANPPCAN), looked at child abuse as the intentional, unintentional or well-intentional act, which endangers the physical, health, emotional, moral and the educational welfare of the child.
Broadly, it means maltreatment of a child. It is any form of action that brings about physical, mental, psychological and social torture to the child.
When you talk about child labour, which includes buying and selling, most times, a woman will intentionally send the child out for hawking with the aim of making money. A situation where a woman’s children will be in school and she finds pleasure in sending a house help out potends danger to that child.
Just recently, when pimary and secondary schools resumed for third term, a woman told her househelp to resume school one week after resumption, thereby dening her classes for the first week of resumption.
A woman should not send an adopted child out to the neighbourhood alone to fetch water when her own children are idle because her role is to protect every child in her care, whether biological or not.
When you talk about child trafficking, apart from children being in school, the mother should be aware of the location of the child at every time. Monitoring the children should be the watchword of every committed mother. When a woman is careless about the whereabouts of the child, that child can be picked up from any location without her knowledge.
A woman should not express anger on everything the child does at home.   A child/ward can be corrected for wrong doing without being battered.  It has been discovered in some homes that child battering has led to death or deformity of some children. A mother should know the kind of punishment a child deserves for correction.
An undergraduate teenage student who was housed by another woman because the student was unable to secure accommodation in the university had it rough with the woman that it got to a point where she slapped the girl during examination period. She never considered that maltreating her could affect her performance in the semester academic work.
No matter the level of provocation, you don’t slap a student who is writing examination.
Some women neglect their children by sending them to others for inability to provide basic needs in the home.  Every responsible woman should be able to have the number of children she can cater for.  While the child is in another woman’s house, no one knows how many meals he or she takes in a day.
Sending a child out for hawking, especially a female, signals danger to the girl.  That is a simple way of exposing her to sexual abuse.  Some irresponsible persons with the pretence of buying something from her can lure her into undesirable sexual abuse.  The danger in this is that it can lead to unwanted pregnancy and contracting of STDs and HIV/AIDS.
Most rape cases that have been recorded are as a result of sending a girl out to hawk.
There is no harm in asking children to assist in selling so as to make up in the home, but if they are to sell in a kiosk no matter how little it may be, a mother can monitor the children there.
A mother should know that giving a child under the age of 18 out for marriage is an abuse. Women must nurture the children to maturity before sending them out in marriage because the dangers of underage marriage are devastating. When an underaged girl is given out for any reason for marriage, it must be remembered that any consequences that arise from that will fall back on the mother.
A mother should not send her child or ward out for prostitution in order to make money.
Parents and guardians, especially mothers should be more educated and more awareness acquired on why they should pay more attention to their children and wards.

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