Nigeria together with the rest of the world today is marking the October 13 National No Bra Day as part of efforts to promote the October 1-31 Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The National No Bra Day, an annual holiday reportedly created in 2011 by breast cancer advocates to commemorate the October Breast Cancer Awareness Month serves as a reminder for all women to be screened for breast cancer.
Also, according to the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC), a union of breast cancer organizations seeking to bring an end to the disease by 2020, “there are 11 cancer registries in the country where information on cancer and tumor diseases are systemically collated. ”
Nigeria does not have a national cancer policy. Radiotherapy is not generally available in public health institutions; there are currently nine radiotherapy centers and 30 oncologists. At the public hospitals, treatment is available largely at the tertiary level.”
Meanwhile, according to the World Health Organization, over 2 million Nigerians (the majority of them women) have died from cancer, and breast cancer is the leading cancer scourge affecting humans. The absence of proper cancer data in Nigeria has made it difficult to determine the actual number of people that die from cancer and those that are currently suffering from the disease.
But reports have continued to indicate increases in cases annually. Statistics have shown that by 2020, cancer incidence for Nigerian males and females may hit 42 million and death rates may reach 72.7/100, 000 and 76/100,000 respectively.
Research say as one gets older, the risk increases. Over 80% of all female breast cancers occur among women aged 50+ years (after menopause). York-based creative digital content and strategic search marketing agency, AWARENESS DAYS, describes the breast as blessed, colossal, adorable, miniature, full, jiggly, fancy, sensitive, glistening, bouncy, smooth, tender, still blossoming, rosy, plump, fun, silky, Jello-like, fierce, jolly, nice, naughty, cuddly among others.
Although a controversial event in the eyes of some, National No Bra Day further aims to raise awareness of breast cancer. Using the hashtag #nobraday on social media and encouraging women to go braless for a 24-hour period.
Leaving your bra at home today might just be a good idea though no current research directly links wearing a bra to a higher breast cancer risk.