Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN)
Business Directory »
Agencies / Organizations »
N.G.O / Local
Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) is a leading not-for-profit and non-governmental organisation galvanising action against breast cancer in Nigeria. Founded in 1997 by Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, a breast cancer survivor herself, BRECAN is increasingly improving the lives of many touched by breast cancer who would have succumbed to the disease due to ignorance and lack of support. She was inspired by the strength gained from her traumatic experience and the indifference surrounding the disease. Quoting her “my experience of shattering loneliness, unavailability of information and group support coupled with ‘tight-lip syndrome’ and indifference surrounding the disease so stirred me that I was inspired to do something that will bring about a positive and lasting change in the attitude of breast cancer victims themselves and the Nigerian society toward breast cancer and sufferers. click here to read Her story
Today, BRECAN is encouraged that its programmes are sensitizing the Nigerian public. Consequent upon the use of awareness creation as an entry point in the fight against breast cancer, more victims are coming out, seeking information and support. Breast cancer, hitherto, discussed in hushed tones is now a topic widely featured on the electronic media. Our innovative activity , Jog for Life is succeeding in breaking down walls of secrecy and stigmatisation as survivors showcase that there is life after breast cancer. Though, regrettably, the absence of a national policy on cancer has left cancer patients basically on their own, BRECAN has demonstrated that a helping hand, no matter how small, can make a difference in lives of cancer patients and their families. With the collaboration of Radiotherapy Department, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan the Association provides emotional and informational support to patients and family members at a Tuesday weekly counselling session. Given that it is not within the scope of the Association to sponsor patient treatment, yet some very need patients are assisted from the paltry proceeds generated internally. Furthermore, the Association in collaboration with a volunteer team of consultants led by Mr. O.O. Akute (FRCS Fellow Royal College of Surgeons) at UCH surgical out-patient unit, has made a breakthrough in creating access for women to have clinical breast examination free of charge.
With democracy in place, hopefully, BRECAN is working on enlisting the participation of female legislators in the National Assembly. Noting that breast cancer is a disease that has a woman s face and respects no social status, there is need to nudge them to rise up to their responsibilities as women politicians with a focus. Together we can create an unstoppable force in the National Assembly pushing for passage of bills that will compel our government to place breast cancer on national agenda. It is our hope that all these actions and many more to come will pave the way to ending the regime of breast cancer as a life threatening disease in Nigeria.
1. Breast Cancer Education:
The apparent low level of breast cancer awareness coupled with false beliefs and attitudes about the disease and how it can be treated informed the urgent need to intensify efforts in public education. The on-going activities include lectures and workshops for the general public and special groups such as market women, grassroots women at the local government areas, neigbourhood women groups, and girls in secondary and tertiary institutions.
2. Patient Support:
2.1. Counselling session for individual or group is available at BRECAN centre.
2.2. Hope Lodge @ BRECAN Centre: A “home away from home” for breast cancer out-patients with their families travelling to the University College Hospital (UCH) for treatment/check-up.
3. Breast Cancer Survivors Network:
The network is for every woman in Nigeria living with breast cancer. Membership is free. Objectives : To provide emotional and informational support; to support newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and their families; to facilitate procurement of protheses(breast forms) and provide fitting service; to engage in breast cancer education in immediate neighbourhoods; to promote healthy diet and lifestyles; to organise activities and social events aimed at smoothening the road to recovery and rehabilitation.
4. Call Centre:
BRECAN links individuals to information on breast cancer. Provides access for women to have clinical breast examination at UCH, Ibadan free of charge. Plans are underway to replicate the arrangement in other breast cancer treatment hospitals nationwide.
5. Jog for Life:
Initiated in 2002 as part of the activities marking BRECAN 5th anniversary. Aimed at celebrating survivorship, raising awareness and funds and promoting exercise as a healthy life style.The event was a success and it has since been become as our leading activity during the breast cancer awareness month of every October.