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Dr. Emmanuel Azuike, a public health consulting physician at the Teaching Hospital of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Awka in Anambra, says that alcohol drinkers and cigarette smokers have a high risk of breast cancer.

Azuike made the revelation in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency (NAN) on Thursday at Awka. He said people with a family history of breast cancer should consider avoiding alcohol and cigarettes to reduce the risk.

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The doctor, who is also a professor in the Medical Department of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, said more cases of breast cancer were being recorded than they should.

“Breast cancer is a serious problem among women, but unfortunately, not much is being done in our society to combat the scourge.

“The truth is that the best way to combat breast cancer, apart from the modification of lifestyle, is early detection so that it can be eliminated from the body in the initial stage.

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“But because we’re not good at screening programs yet, many of them show up late,” he said.

Azuike said it was necessary to increase people’s awareness to avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and reducing their body mass index, in addition to increasing the consumption of vegetables and exercise.

“At least, reasonable exercises that take your breath away in 30 minutes, five days a week will be enough. These may reduce the risk of breast cancer, but they are not absolute.

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“The current teaching is that a woman under 40 must have a breast self-exam every month and must have a clinical breast exam by a doctor at least once every three years.

“For people over 40, they should also have a self-exam, but the clinical breast exam should be done once a year. They should also be available for the mammogram test to detect the early stages of cancer,” he added.