By Tsegaye Tilahun
Breast cancer is becoming the most prevalent illness among women in Ethiopia replacing cervical cancer, says specialist in the field.
Dr. Bogale Solomon , specialist in cancer treatment and member of Ethiopian Medical Association says young women are becoming the victims of the disease. For instance in case of Addis Ababa the breast cancer is growing fast.
Age at child delivery, unsafe dieting especially related to the consumption of meat, poor habit of physical exercise ,excessive alcohol consumption, life style of women and duration of working hours are among the major cause of breast cancer.
Cervical cancer used to attack more women in the past, until breast cancer comes out recently as the worst killer of young women especially those in urban areas, he added.
Changing trends in the age of giving birth as well as changes in the life style of women are the aggravating factors towards breast cancer, the specialist said. The Doctor elaborated that the life style of many women used to be filled with hard laborious works and many women usually give birth at relatively young age. Hence he noted that scheduling age of giving birth between18 to 28 and breast feeding can reduce the chance of contracting the disease.
“Breast cancer is not a sudden disease , but a chronic one; poor habit of physical exercise, fatty foods, delay in the age of giving birth, frequent usage of transportation system instead of walking especially in the city and no comfortable place for sporting activities,” further explained Dr. Bogale.
Currently the disease is spreading rapidly while many young women sustain the disease on both breasts.
Dr. Bogale pointed out that it is possible to prevent the disease by teaching the community to adopt physical exercise, eat balanced diet especially to serve fruits and vegetables and creating awareness of the symptoms and the habit for screening are important ways to reducing the risk.
The work of prevention is now limited; it should be given great emphasis especially in creating awareness for women. Giving birth on time, balanced diet, adopting physical exercise, status checkup periodically are some of prevention methods of breast cancer.
Preventing the disease at an early age could be cured by medical treatment and also women should give special attention for their nutrition, physical activities are the most important things to prevent the breast cancer because coming too late to medical treatment aggravates the disease, he further added.
Currently, the awareness of people towards the disease is better in the city than rural areas , but at all it needs more work to create community’s awareness to prevent the disease.
The Ethiopian Herald