MORE than 1,600 women at Nkwaabeng, in the Brong-Ahafo Region, have benefitted from a breast cancer education and clinical breast-screening programme, which enlightened them on the symptoms , ravages and treatment of the disease.
A number of them found with breast abnormalities, were referred to the appropriate health care facilities for further investigation and treatment.
The programme was jointly organised by Breast Care International (BCI), Ghana’s leading non-governmental organisation spearheading the nation’s breast cancer crusade, and its sister private specialist health care facility, Peace and Love Hospitals Limited (PLHs).
Initiated by Mr. K. Nsonwaah, Assembly member for the Nkwaabeng electoral area, the programme was meant to help erase the stigma, myths and misconceptions surrounding breast cancer.
Dr. (Mrs.) Beatrice Wiafe Addai, president of BCI and Chief Executive Officer of PLHs who led a medical team for the programme, identified stigmatisation as a key problem hindering the fight against the disease in the country and Africa, in general.
In Africa, she said, health care workers and volunteers had to dedicate considerable time and attention to educating people to embrace patients suffering from breast and other cancers.
“The canker of stigmatisation rather facilitates the death of patients, more than the disease itself, and this underlines the need to equally direct more attention to fighting it before it becomes too late,” Dr. Wiafe Addai stated.
The consultant breast surgeon said “it is absolutely needless for women, who are the majority of breast cancer patients, to die prematurely from the disease when options are available for treatment”.
Dr. Wiafe Addai advised women to have their breasts examined by trained health professionals at least once every year, and specifically, those above the age of 40 years to have their baseline mammogram.
She further asked women to practise self-examination of their breasts