HEALTH: Breast Cancer Replaces Cervical Cancer as Top Women Illness in Ethiopia

PHOTO CREDIT: Stay at Home Mum

Oncologist Dr. Bogale Solomon says that, in recent years, breast cancer has become the leading cause of cancer-related for women in Ethiopia, surpassing cervical cancer.

By Tsegaye Tilahun (The Ethiopian Herald)

Breast cancer is becoming the most prevalent illness among women in Ethiopia replacing cervical cancer, says specialist in the field.

Dr. Bogale Solomon, oncologist 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 be the leading cancer-related cause of death for women in the past [in the country], until breast cancer comes atop 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. Dr. Bogale 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 between 18 to 28 of age 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.

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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 of the country, but it still needs more work to create awareness to prevent the disease.

Source: The Ethiopian Herald
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