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Prostate cancer: Medicaid Cancer Foundation partners raise awareness using art

Medicaid Cancer Foundation (MCF) and partners have said art plays a critical role in the fight against prostate and other types of cancer. They stated…

Medicaid Cancer Foundation (MCF) and partners have said art plays a critical role in the fight against prostate and other types of cancer.

They stated this during a programme tagged ‘Art4Cancer’ in Abuja. The collaborative event involved a partnership between the foundation, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Innovative Medicine and Maigaskiya Visuals, and creative and performing artists.

Dr Zainab-Shinkafi Bagudu, the CEO/Founder of Medicaid Cancer Foundation, highlighted the power of art as a communication tool in the fight against cancer.

She said there is a need to reach men aged 40 and above with information about the risks, funding, and treatment options.

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She said, “Art is a way of expressing different emotions, different ideas and different innovations. One of the biggest problems that we have in cancer advocacy is how to get the message across to the people.

“The important thing is for us to know that cancer is real. It is killing over 20 million people across the world every year, and 80 per cent of these people are from the lower- and middle-income countries (LMIC). So, we have to educate ourselves about it.

“We need to accept preventive measures. We need to adopt a healthy lifestyle; no smoking, no alcohol, and then exercise regularly. These are some of the things that are important to prevent it.”

She added that early detection was also the key to saving lives.

Joshua Ochogwu, the Programme Manager for MCF, explained that “Art4Cancer” sought to break the culture of silence surrounding prostate cancer.

He commended the participation of various creative artists, such as visual artists, musicians, poets, and photographers, adding that art has a potential to revive, unite, and bring people together for a common cause.

“It is a passion for us, it is something we believe will create more awareness about cancer. A lot of our art photography depicting cancer has been sold already. We believe that no man should stand and fight cancer alone. We can only stand together to fight it and see the success,” he said.

Ikechukwu Ofuani of J & J Innovative Medicine said the partnership is aimed at continued education and awareness for men aged 40 and above.

He stressed the importance of conveying messages effectively and encouraged men to volunteer for prostate cancer examinations.

Abdullah-Uthman Maigaskiya, the Convener of Maigaskiya Visuals, said the exhibition featured works from different artists that depicted the effects of prostate cancer on society.

He said the proceeds from the auctioned artworks were allocated to the campaign against cancer.

A cancer survivor, Abiodun Adegoroye, advised Nigerians to make mindful choices in their diet and avoid exposure to harmful chemicals.

He shared his experience of contracting cancer during house fumigation and urged people to take precautionary measures. 

He reiterated the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including avoiding smoking and excessive drinking, to strengthen the immune system.