A man’s sexual behaviour is a major factor in the predisposition of a woman to cervical cancer. This is because men are transmitters of Human papillomavirus HPV, the virus that cause cervical cancer.
Dr. Sola Oriniowo of the ABC Foundation said this recently at an event organised by Technical University, Ibadan to mark World Cancer Awareness Day.
At the programme, which had the theme “We Can, I Can”, different types of cancers were highlighted as the students of university made various presentations.
Having multiple sexual partners could make women susceptible to cervical cancer, according to Dr. Oriniowo.
His words: “You put your spouse at risk as a male if you also have multiple sexual partners because you are a transmitter of HPV (Human papillomavirus). The more your partners, the higher the risk. Let’s make wise sexual choices. You can use protection but remember that condoms don’t give full protection from HPV. So, abstinence is important. Be faithful”
Since most cases result from prolonged infections, he urged that girls between the ages of 9 and 14 should get tested and those who are negative should get vaccinated. He also advised that every sexually active woman should get tested.
He noted that Nigeria has the second highest number of cervical cancer cases in the world.
On breast cancer, he encouraged women to undertake self-breast examinations at least once in a month and get checked by a health care provider once in a year. He mentioned obesity as a major risk factor of breast cancer.
“As you grow older as a woman, the risk increases”, he explained. He also debunked the myth that breastfeeding could make breasts sag.
Speaking on the prevention of cancers, Dr. Oriniowo mentioned lifestyle, diet and sexual choices as factos that should not be toiled with. Thirty minutes of aerobic exercises at least thrice a week will go a long way in ensuring that one stays healthy, he added.
“There is a need to consciously watch what we consume”, he said. “It is best to eat raw, fresh vegetables and fruits. If you can’t eat them raw, you can steam, cook or fry lightly”.
He went on to point out that food exposed to smoke and soot can be potentially harmful. “Alcoholism, drug use and the like can give temporary satisfaction but they cause long lasting damage. It is wise to stay away from them”, he said. “Smoking, which is a leading cause of lung cancer, is a choice just as staying where people smoke is a choice”, he said.
Why Technical University?
Explaining why ABC Foundation chose The Technical University for the programme, Dr. Oriniowo said “we have an existing relationship with The Technical University and we are responsible for the well-being and health care of staff and students of the university. The second thing is that we recognize the role that Tech-U is set to play in the society because they are developing a new brand of leaders that will impart the society and giving them the right orientation from this early stage is going to make a big impact in the future”.
Speaking further, he said “because a large percentage of cancers are caused by the lifestyle choices that we make earlier in our lives, it only makes sense that to prevent it, we start giving young people the right orientation and the right information so that they are able to make decisions that will not have negative impact on them in the future. And that is an example of how to prevent cancer; teaching people not to smoke, not to drink, to promote environmental conservation, to promote safe sexual practices among young people will lead to a decrease in the incidence of cancer in their age group when they are much older.
In attendance were Mrs. Bukky Asubiojo, the University Librarian, Prof. S.A Ajayi, the Director of Academic Planning and Partnerships, Prof. A.O Ogunfowokan, the Dean, Faculty of Science and Prof. S.O Ajadi, the Dean of Students’ Affairs. Adetola Abolarinwa, the HR Manager of the ABC Foundation, Ayo Korede, Dr. Ayo Busayo, Atolani Akande as well as Nurses Amadi and Daniel Faleti were part of the ABC team.