Middle-aged women at higher risk of cancer – Expert

A cancer expert, Dr Kanu Ekpo has disclosed that women between the ages of nine and 45 are usually at the risk of cancer.

He also disclosed that those who are still sexually active after 45 must start taking preventive measures against cervical and breast cancers.

He said these forms of cancer were the most common among women.

He spoke during a medical outreach and Cancer Awareness Campaign organised by the women’s wing of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Calabar Chapter.

Ekpo said the enlightenment for breast and cervical cancers has become very expedient because every week, they diagnosed no fewer than four cases of cancer.

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“Cancer is becoming an epidemic, so, as a woman, routine self breast examination is key, while getting a Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), vaccination is a key preventive measure against cervical cancer.

“We also advise women between the ages of nine and 45 and those still sexually active after 45 to go for a pap smear, which will check for abnormalities in the cells of the cervix. Prevention is key and cheap,” he said.

Ekpo admonished women to avoid multiple sexual partners, hormonal contraceptives, alcohol, smoking and vaccinate against HPV.

The expert stated that cancer was treatable if it was discovered early and reported to cancer centres.

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Chairperson of NUP, Women’s Wing, Mrs Mary Koofrey was grateful for the education they received, consenting that cancer was a dreaded disease.

“There are people who still think cancer is caused by evil spirits but when they come out and meet with experts they will become more enlightened. They will know the early steps to take,” she said.

A former cancer patient, Mrs Otang Isien, and a retired Chief Matron with NUP, said she was almost hopeless and felt like she was sentenced to death until she met with experts.

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