A breast cancer survivor, Ramatu Sumani has urged women to make self-breast examination a priority.
Also, she advised that women who are 40 years and above must ensure they undergo mammogram once every year for the early detection of any abnormality in the breasts.
Mammography is the process of using low-energy X-rays to examine the human breast for diagnosis and screening. The goal of mammography is the early detection of breast cancer, typically through detection of characteristic masses or micro-calcifications (small calcium deposits that look like white specks).
Speaking in an interview with the Ghanaian Times yesterday, Mrs Sumani indicated that breast cancer was not a death sentence however the unfortunate detection of the disease at the late or terminal stage was what could drastically reduce the chances of sufferers of the ailment of surviving it.
“We are losing many lives to breast cancer needlessly and this is what is heartbreaking. When you examine your breasts and armpits once every month you will surely notice a change if there is any but if you just go on with your life without paying any particular attention to your body, especially your breasts, an abnormality which could be breast cancer can remain there for months and years until it becomes too late,” she added.
Citing herself as an example, she revealed that early detection of the disease saved her life about three years ago, adding that she did not stay at home or resort to any unapproved methods of treatment when she noticed the abnormality in her breast.
The survivor stated that due to the availability of improved ways of treatment for breast cancer, surviving the disease if reported early and managed well was highly possible.
Mrs Sumani, who is also the organiser of the Cancer Support Network of Ghana, also called on all survivors to come out and give hope to breast cancer patients, saying during treatment, many patients battled with anxiety due to the fear of not making it.
However, she said inspirational stories of breast cancer survivors go a long way in giving hope to individuals undergoing treatment for the disease.
In furtherance she urged the public, including men, to take advantage of the free breast screening exercises that would be available to know their status.
“As we are in October, the pink month as many call it, there will be many opportunities to have your breasts screened so please take advantage of this and get to any centre where such services are being offered to examine your breasts. Men too can get affected by breast cancer so our men should not be left out. Let us all go out and save our breasts because prevention is for better than cure,” she said.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU