Increase breast cancer education!

It is reported that almost 5000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer annually in Ghana, and over 2,060 of them die.

That means about 40 per cent of the patients die, which should be the concern of society in general.

The roles women play in the survival of society are enormous and so it should be the prayer of all societies that their women should stay healthy and active.

Besides procreation, women play major roles in the upbringing of children, who are the symbols that the society would not be extinct.

Their roles in the cultural, social and economic development can never be downplayed because of their indelible effects on even men, poor or rich, educated or illiterate, simple or sophisticated.

Women are generally influencers and in any free society, their contributions to certain major decisions have never been ignored.

When it comes to things for the pleasure of women themselves and others, they are at the centre of affairs.

Therefore, issues regarding the women’s good health should engage the women themselves and the rest of society.

This is why the Ghanaian Times is concerned about the breast cancer statistics in the country.

The World Health Organisation classifies breast cancer among non-communicable diseases, also known as chronic diseases.

These diseases are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioural factors and tend to be of long duration.

Fortunately, medical science has helped to gather some information that points to the fact that though it is not easy to deal with breast cancer, it can be handled in some ways.

The disease has risk factors that cannot be changed, though.

These include old age, genetic mutation, reproductive history, having dense breasts, personal history of breast cancer or certain non-cancerous breast diseases, family history of breast or ovarian cancer, and previous treatment using radiation therapy.

There are other risk factors but these can be changed.

These are not being physically active; being overweight or having obesity after menopause; and taking hormones that include both estrogen and progesterone during menopause for more than five years.

Others include taking certain oral contraceptives; reproductive history like having the first pregnancy after age 30, not breastfeeding; never having a full-term pregnancy; and drinking more alcohol. 

Research suggests that other factors such as smoking, being exposed to chemicals that can cause cancer, and changes in other hormones due to night shift working also may increase breast cancer risk.

It is important to note that these factors can help us avoid or minimise the risk of suffering breast cancer.

For instance, among the explanation for the reproductive history factor, it is said that starting menstrual periods before age 12 and starting menopause after age 55 expose women to hormones longer, raising their risk of getting breast cancer.

What that means is that the ages 12 and 55 are significant in the lives of females as they can be the points to begin having breast cancer checks.

That is to say medical check-ups in relation to breast cancer must be taken seriously by women and families of growing female teenagers.

The aggregate is that breast cancer education is obligatory.

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