The Founder, Eunice Spring of Life Foundation (ESLF) and First Lady of Benue State, Dr. Eunice Ortom has prescribed adopting a healthy lifestyle through proper dieting, regular exercise, getting the right health information, self-examination and regular medical check-ups by health professionals as part of measures to help curb cancer and related illnesses as people and organisations across the globe mark World Cancer Day 2022.
Dr. Ortom who gave these recommendations during an awareness and interactive session with students of Community Secondary School, Apir as part of activities by her Foundation to commemorate the World Cancer Day, noted that understanding how one’s body works would enable one identify unusual developments in it and urged people to read the right literature to their boost knowledge and make informed decisions on the right steps to treat and prevent them.
She pointed out that “natural” food like rice, beans, yam, fruits and vegetables remain healthy options that boost body immunity against diseases as against “processed” food that is less nutritious, and prescribed active participation in sports rather than mere passive interests in them.
The ESLF Founder cautioned people to desist from harmful lifestyles that predispose one to cancer such as smoking, taking alcohol, having multiple sex partner which can expose one to HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) that predispose one to cancer.
The First Lady commended the students for committing themselves to learning and keying into the benefits of education which she maintained, remains the bedrock of societal development.
Speaking earlier, a health expert and Resource Person, Dr. Laadi Swende, explained that cancer could affect every part of the body and pointed out that, while women were more prone to suffering the scourge (usually cancer of the breast and cervix), men although usually less prone to the disease, also suffer cancer (usually cancer of the lungs and prostate), urged all adults to go for regular check-up for early detection and treatment.
Dr. Swende, who is the immediate past Chairperson of Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Benue State chapter, cautioned women against using unhygienic materials during menstruation or applying potash and other dangerous chemicals on the private part in the name of washing as these could cause infections and complications that might become cancerous.
She recommended, breast self-examination (best done 5 days after menstruation) by keen observation of the breast to note changes in colour or size, touching the breast with an open palm and mild pressing of the nipple to check for unusual discharges.
Some symptoms of cancer, she said included weight loss, change of colour of the breast, non-stop bleedings and inflammations and urged them to visit the Federal Medical Centre at Apir, Benue State Teaching Hospital which both have qualified oncologists and the Air Force Hospital for medical attention.
Some students including Umburter Priscilla, Okwu Joy participated by asking salient questions while Wanan Isaac and Belamo Seember both demonstrated the breast self-examination process that was earlier shown them.
Also addressing the visiting team, Principal of the school, Mr. Jerry Akya appreciated Dr. Ortom for bringing the life-saving health talk to both students and teachers of the school through ESLF.
The theme of this year’s World Cancer Day is, “Closing the Care Gap”.