YWCA advocates healthy lifestyle to prevent cancer

YWCA advocates healthy lifestyle to prevent cancer


To mark World Cancer Day, the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), Lagos branch, has said maintaining a healthy lifestyle and early diagnosis will go a long way to preventing cancer and other illnesses.

The association made this knownin Lagos during its medical outreach.

The event featured seminars on lifestyle and healthy living by Dr Omolola Odigwe; breast cancer by Dr Kehinde Adeniran; cervical cancer by Mrs Yetunde Jacobson-Folaji; and prostate cancer by Dr Damilola Akinlawon.

There were also free medical checks like blood pressure, urinalysis, screening for prostate, breast and cervical cancer, blood sugar, and eyes tests with free reading glasses.

In her presentation, Odigwe stressed the importance of eating healthy and balanced meals; regular exercise and shunning smoking and consumption of alcohol. She also called for periodic health assessments.

Adeniran said factors like family history, lifestyle and excessive alcohol intake can cause breast cancer.

She advised women to always check their breasts four days after their monthly period and to report any changes to the doctor for early intervention.

Jacobson-Folaji on her part said 500,000 women die every year and every minute a woman dies of cervical cancer, adding that eating unhealthy meals, multiple sexual partners and hormonal drugs can expose one to the ailment.

The certified fertility care practitioner listed some of the symptoms including intermittent bleeding, virginal discharge, and low abdominal pain. She urged women to screen for cervical cancer at least every five years for early detection, and vaccination for females from nine to 45 years for prevention.

YWCA advocates healthy lifestyle to prevent cancer
YWCA advocates healthy lifestyle to prevent cancer

Akinlawon also stressed the importance of a healthy diet and exercise in the prevention of prostate cancer. He said the older men get, the more likely to have prostate cancer. So, from 40 years, men should start periodic screening.

In her remarks, the Chairperson of the YWCA Lagos branch, Mrs Olukemi Oludipe, said the association always focuses on cancer and other health talks during its health awareness week it knows that early detection of cancer is key and people cannot detect it early if they don’t know about it.

She said the programme has been on for the past six years and it is usually done in the market to reach the semi-literates and the illiterates.

Oludipe state that YWCA generally is about advocacy for the girl child and the women. “We care about their well-being, the domestic, social, mental and financial well-being. Apart from our health programme, we also organise the economic programme, social programmes where we teach young people how to have confidence in themselves.”

The Lagos Central Group President of the association, Dr. Olatokunbo Oseni said when the programme started, it was just the basics, but over the years the screening has been expanded to include cholesterol checks, kidney checks that would be done in the laboratory because there are partners that are supporting the association.