Care Organisation Public Enlightenment (COPE), in partnership with GE HealthCare, has acquired an automated breast ultrasound equipment to help Nigerian women who may fall into the category of the 40 per cent of those with dense breasts.
Dense breast is believed to be a strong and common risk factor for developing breast cancer.
The chief executive officer of COPE, Mrs. Ebun Anozie, said the procurement of the technology is targeted at scanning at least 200 women monthly and no fewer than 2,000 women annually.
The machine, which would save as many women as possible from the clutches of the disease, also works with saline and silicone breast implants.
Speaking at the official launch in Lagos, Anozie said the equipment would help to detect breast cancer early.
“Do you know what this will do to a lot of women who come to us? It will enhance our screening. It will help us detect breast cancer early and we will be able to reach out to more women. This is the A game. It is going to help a lot of women, not forgetting the fact that men also have breast cancer, one in 100. It’s just that it is higher in women than men because we have breasts.
“We screen every third Saturday of every month. But, we have attended to about 100 persons before in one day because we have four machines and this is the fifth one. Women come here every third Saturday of the month. Ordinarily, it costs about N15, 000 to go for screening. Here, our partners have made it free. What we want is to mitigate the mortality rate of breast cancer in Nigeria. We don’t need to die. Screening is the game because when something is detected early and treatments are given early, there is a high chance of surviving cancer,” she said.
Also speaking, the chairman, board of trustees COPE, Professor Frank Giwa-Osagie, said the technology was advancement in cancer management, adding that early diagnosis would prevent loss of lives.
“It has been established that the chances of survival or cure in cancer depend heavily on early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. It is only when you diagnose that you can start treating. So any technology that can be applied to ensure accurate early diagnosis is a major step forward in cancer management. This ABUS technology is an advanced ultrasound for scanning the breast. It’s a major advancement not only for COPE but for women generally.
“We are very happy and grateful that we have this machine now in Lagos, and we are planning to scan at least 2,000 women per year. The whole procedure of scanning takes only 20 minutes and it is not inconvenient at all to the woman,” he said.