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By rasheedakinshola • 10th Mar 2019 • 33 views • 3 comments

IN an interview with the radiologist and coordinator, One Stop Breast Clinic, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Dr. Caleb Yakubu, he reveals how the clinic is assisting indigent women in the society who had breast cancer to live normal lives.

The clinic is called One Stop because it is a multi-disciplinary therapy clinic which is specifically for breast cancer patients. According to Yakubu, breast cancer is the commonest malignancy cancer in women. “Women die of the disease because they lack early detection and proper management, rather they present the disease late, but once it is detected early, (1st stage) the woman can still live a normal life,” he said. According to him, mastectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely. It is usually carried out to treat breast cancer. “A mastectomy bra is the perfect companion for women who’ve undergone mastectomy or lumpectomy surgery. They are designed with full cups for a natural look and feel normal again as well as to remove stigma attached to losing one’s breast. An African woman believes that so long as she has her breasts, she is still a woman. Well, it is beyond that; even without your breasts, you can still live a normal life. At whatever stage it is detected, the best place to come is the clinic. Even if you are diagnosed late there is still hope. Here, we make life worthwhile for them and help them live a normal life,” said Yakubu.

Speaking of how mastectomy bra works, Yakubu said it is specially designed for women who have undergone a mastectomy, or a lumpectomy, and can be worn with breast prostheses. Post surgical bras are made with specially designed discreet pockets inside the cups. Some mastectomy bras will only have a pocket in one cup, while others have pockets on both cups. Most of the post surgical bras that we carry are “bilateral”  meaning the breast prosthesis can be placed in either or both cups.

“A quality mastectomy bra is more than just a traditional bra with added pockets. A mastectomy bra should offer enough coverage to secure your breast form, soft materials for sensitive skin and lightweight support. Most post-surgical bras have no underwires. Because of their amazing comfort, women who have not had breast surgery but who are uncomfortable in regular bras should consider mastectomy styles. These bras also work well if you have naturally uneven breasts and would like to wear padding on one side,” he said. Some breast forms are designed to be attached directly to the body, but others fit into a specially designed mastectomy bra.

The healing process is very important after undergoing a mastectomy, and comfort is an absolute necessity. Immediately after surgery, your doctor will most likely recommend wearing a compression bra or sports bra. “Do not switch to regular mastectomy bras until they are recommended by your physician. When buying a mastectomy bra, you will choose your cup size based on the larger breast. I highly recommend a professional bra fitting after mastectomy, lumpectomy or breast reconstruction to determine your new bra size, as well as your prosthesis size,” he warned.

“At One Stop Breast Clinic, a radiologist is available to examine the breast with an ultrasound machine, and with microscope, the breast surgeons are on ground to evaluate the patient, then the oncologist (specialist that treats cancer), after which diagnosis is made and the mode of treatment is agreed upon,” he said.

Speaking further, he said, “rather than sending the patient back and forth, in this clinic diagnosis is made within three hours and patients will get the treatment as fast as possible. There are so many success stories recorded within three years of inception.  During our first anniversary in 2017, we had over a thousand survivors. We attend to patients here once you have your referral.

“Rather than going to the mountain or herbalists, once you have breast cancer please come to us, we have some patients who finished their treatment within one month.”

Yakubu, however, lamented that funding is still a major problem. “There are still lot of indigent women who cannot afford the anti-cancer drugs and the surgeries. There are times we have to do the ultrasound for them free and even the surgery when they don’t have the money. We call on well-meaning Nigerians to donate to the clinic,” he concluded.


3 Replies | Last update 10th Mar 2019 | Last comment

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