By Margot Garnier
Check your body for unusual changes as it’s easier to treat cancer when discovered at an early stage.
That was the message hammered home at a recent cancer health awareness seminar organised by the Anambra State Association Women’s (ASAW) Dublin wing during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Beginning with a minute’s silence for those who have died from cancer around the world and a short documentary about the disease, ASAW president Nkiru Edekobi said that to survive cancer, “knowledge and information is power”.
Senator Catherine Noone, who represented Minister for Health Leo Varadkar at the seminar, said that Ireland has reported “an unusually high” rate of cancer, with far too many families touched by a disease that recognises no “borders, culture or identity”, added Minister of State for new Communities Aohdhán Ó Ríordáin. Olusola Iginla, chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Nigeria in Ireland, also reminded those in attendance of the cancer risk factors in tobacco and alcohol.
The highlight of the event was the poignant testimony of former cancer patient Jenny McElvaney, who related her long journey fighting against breast cancer after being diagnosed just a few weeks before her wedding.
Working now as a nutritional therapist, McElvaney said her life course highlights the importance of information about cancer in order to diagnose and attempt to cure it when still possible.