Men have been urged to take breast cancer screening seriously as the disease could affect everyone irrespective of their gender or age, Gina Kuma-Dzagah, a breast cancer advocate and founder of Flames of Hope Foundation (FOHF), an NGO has said.
“Everyone is at risk of breast cancer no matter their gender so men must also ensure they regularly examine themselves properly and seek early medical care in case they find any abnormalities,” she added in an interview with the Ghanaian Times .
Mrs Kuma-Dzagah expressed worry about the lack of information about the prevalence rate of the disease among men adding that there was an urgent need for an increase in awareness about the realities of breast cancer, especially among men.
Though breast cancer was rare among men, she explained that signs and symptoms of the disease must not be ignored.
“Breast cancer is very common among females but men can also be affected so I entreat all men to ensure they do not ignore any lump in their breasts or think it is impossible for them to get affected and wait until they are surprised by the disease,” she said.
“Lumps in breast does not always mean cancer so do not panic when you find a lump in your breast or when you see any unusual changes on your breast. You only have to report immediately to the hospital because early detection is a life saver. We do not want it to escalate among men as it is now with females,” she added.
Mrs Kuma-Dzagahwho is also a breast cancer survivor bemoaned that discrimination against men fighting the disease was among the factors that prevented male sufferers of the disease from coming out to seek treatment.
She gave an instance where a man receiving psychological support from her outfit battled depression while receiving treatment not because he was diagnosed of breast cancer, but rather because of what people would think when they heard he had breast cancer.
According to her, the man seemed more bothered about what people would think about a man with breast cancer than the disease itself.
She, therefore, reiterated the need for members of the public, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and corporate bodies to support the fight against breast cancer among men and also provide funding to fight against the discrimination facing men with the disease.
In furtherance, Mrs Kuma-Dzagah admonished breast cancer survivors to overcome the fear of discrimination and the possibility of recurrence of cancer saying “Do not let cancer define you, love yourself, take good care of yourself. The fear of recurrence is real but do not let it steal your joy. Starve your fears with prayer, faith and trust in the sovereignty of God.”
BY RAISSA SAMBOU