President of Breast Care International (BCI), Dr Beatrice Wiafe Addai, has cautioned women against the use of bleaching creams as some contain cancerous chemicals which can cause breast cancer.
According to her, some skin lighteners contain variety of substances, including topical steroids, mercury and hydroquinones as well as hormonally active compounds like phthalates which commonly known as “fragrances” or “perfumes.”
Speaking in an interview with the Ghanaian Times at a breast cancer awareness programme in Accra on Thursday, Dr Addai also noted that some hair relaxers also contributed to breast cancer, saying they contained phthalates.
She indicated that although the cause of breast cancer was still unknown, there were lifestyles like intake of alcohol, smoking, not washing the bra on regular basis, excess fatty food consumption, lack of exercise, skin bleaching through injection and pills were risk factors.
Dr Addai observed that 10 per cent of women who had breast cancers in Ghana were from genetic mutation while 90 per cent were not.
She urged women to get themselves examined on monthly basis, while getting a clinical breast screened once every year, stressing that “early detection saves the breast and life.”
“Breast cancer is the most common cancer that affects women in the world. When it is not diagnosed early the cancer can spread out and it will lead women to lose a breast or both breasts or the ability to produce children or their life as well. That is why it is important to get screened to detect the lamp for early treatment,” she added.
Dr Addai observed that 15 per cent of women who had breast cancer were below the ages of 50 years, stressing that “in Ghana the youngest person who was diagnosed of the cancer was 13 years.”
She expelled the belief that breast cancer was only common among the adults and also denounced claims that it could be prevented through stimulation and sucking of the breast by one’s spouse, adding that “men can also get breast cancer.”
Sidoine Rodrigues, A manager of Delta Airport explained that since October was a month set aside to create awareness on breast cancer, his outfit had deemed it mandatory to support awareness creation of the cancer to get women treated with screening programmes.
For the past five years, he indicated that Delta Airline had supported BCI outreach projects and was proud that the partnership had enabled many women and men to have access to screening programmes and seek treatment.
“Through our partnership, thousands of people have been screened with many suspected cases found. Catching breast cancer early is the key to a cure,” he added.
The programme which was organised by Delta Airline was done in collaboration with BCI and Women in Aviation Ghana.
It saw over 100 aviation women screened for the cancer.
BY JOYCELINE NATALLY CUDJOE