A medical expert, Dr Herietta Umoke, has advised women to start cervical cancer screening at the age of 21 years.
She also advised women to go for breast cancer screening when they were more than 40 years of age for early detection of cancer and treatment.
Umoke said this at a free breast cancer screening exercise organised by the Woman Missionaries to African Nations (Woman Africa), a non-governmental organisation in Abuja on Saturday.
She observed that people who had the family history of cancer were at higher risk of contracting it.
She advised that such people should start ten years earlier than the age at which their relations died of the cancer.
According her, cancer is a killer disease if detected late, but when detected early it can save life while breast cancer is the most common in Nigeria.
“It can be easily detected, but due to ignorant many women are coming down with it.
“ This is why we advise that women should examine themselves regularly and contact a medical expert if any lump is noticed around the breast.
“They should go for regular pre-cancer lesion screening for early detection and treatment.
“Having a pre-cancerous condition doesn’t mean that you have cancer or that you will definitely develop cancer.
“But pre-cancerous conditions are diseases or syndromes that might develop into a cancer, so it’s important to monitor your health,’’ Umoke explained.
She also advised that people should watch the rate at which they consumed processed food as such could predispose them to cancer.
“We should ensure that we eat more of natural food as well as avoid smocking; also to feed our children with natural food drinks rather than giving them carbonated drinks.
Earlier, Mrs Ijeoma Emeribe, the Founder of the Woman Missionaries to African Nations, said the exercise was to commemorate the World Cancer Day.
According to Emeribe, in addition to the free medical screening, the organisation gives scholarships to less privileged girls as well as training and empowering girls and women.
“Woman Africa is a faith-based organisation whose objectives are to train and empower women and girls.
“We are here today to enlighten people more on cancer; also to add to humanity so as to save a soul,’’ she added.
She also said that after the screening, if there were any issue that required surgery, the organisation would assist in the treatment.
World Cancer Day celebration focuses on the challenge of prevention, detection and treatment of cancer.