Breast Cancer patients urged to have open conversations for quality healthcare

Breast Cancer patients
Dr. Joel Yarney

By Yvonne Atilego

Health Practitioners have been urged to encourage breast cancer patients to have open conversations with their healthcare teams.

This, according to the Director of the National Centre for Radiotherapy Oncology & Nuclear Medicine of Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Joel Yarney will help patients to understand how they can be supported and how they can participate in their own care.

He added that taking an active role in their treatment can help the patients feel empowered in making the best decisions for themselves.
“It is crucial for patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or even metastatic breast cancer to have the right information and expectations”, he stressed.

He made the call during Pfizer’s virtual Media Roundtable to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month recently.

He further stated that health practitioners have more to do when it comes to the awareness creation on breast cancer, “The transformative impact of science on breast cancer is evident within the breast cancer community. While we’ve made meaningful change for those living with this disease, our work is far from finished”.

The World Health organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, Global Cancer Observatory (GLOBACAN) reported 28,380 and 4,482 new cases of breast cancer for Nigeria and Ghana respectively in 2020.

At the Media Roundtable, the public were urged to take early detection seriously and help their love ones by encouraging regular self-examination and conversations with their doctors.

Healthcare practitioners were also encouraged to employ technologies in their respective approvals to have open conversations and support patients.

The Medical Director for East & Anglo West Africa, Kodjo Soroh said oncology remains a key therapeutic field for Pfizer in which they are working to deliver medical breakthroughs that have the potential to change patients’ lives across the region.

“We are proud of these achievements, and we thank our media members, colleagues, HCPs and everyone for this event.”

On his part, a consultant Clinical and Radiation Oncologist, NSIA-LUTH Cancer Center, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Adewumi Alabi underscored the importance of clinical research in breast cancer care.

She, therefore, lauded Pfizer for the initiative, “These forums are critical as they allow us to share our best insights and findings that can support patients in winning the battle against cancer. Breast cancer itself is one of the deadliest diseases with a high prevalence in the area”, Dr Alabi said.

“On a positive note, we now have evidence-based updates and real-world data showing the efficacy of prescriptions in the management of HR+ HER2- mBC patients, she added”

Stressing the importance of breast awareness creation, Pfizer said stakeholders must not wait for October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) to talk about the disease.

It however said the month, “It’s an opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to changing the lives of people with breast cancer for the better – from treatment to helping to remove barriers to equitable care and beyond”.

“Cancer care is driven by the hope to move forward — powered by everything and everyone around you. Beginning with each individual’s decision and actions, their community of friends, families, and advocates and the scientists and researchers who dedicate their lives to developing new treatments”, it emphasized.

Pfizer has supported patients and the breast cancer community for more than 20 years and their goals are to powering more treatment options, and more breakthroughs, for everyone.

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