Philanthropists and the general public have been urged to support the fight against breast cancer.
A journalist, Mrs Raissa Sambou, who made the call said the dearth of resources needed for the treatment of breast cancer left patients stranded and costing them their lives in many instances.
Mrs Sambou also a breast cancer survivor, made the call in a pep talk with students of the Labone Senior High School in Accra, on breast cancer over the weekend.
The event organised by the New Times Corporation publishers of Ghanaian Times and The Spectator, brought together development partners, health officials, teachers and students to create awareness on the disease which is the topmost killer disease among women in Ghana.
It was on the theme, “Life Before and After Breast Cancer: A Future of Positivity and Hope.”
The Komla Dumor Most Promising Journalist in 2020 narrated that few months into the delivery of her first child, she realised a lump in her breast while breastfeeding her baby.
“I went to the hospital without any hesitation and upon my arrival I was told that I had gotten a stage 3 cancer, meaning that the cancer had spread to other parts of the body. However, I was able to pull through after a successful chemotherapy” she said.
Mrs Sambou stated that although she had witnessed some liquid discharge in her breasts in 2016, the doctors at that time had brushed off the thoughts of breast cancer attributing it to her past obstetric issues.
She advised the students, especially the girls, to know their breasts and trust their instincts since an early detection would help get rid of any cancerous cells.
Dr Victoria Partey-Newman, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ladybits Health and Wellness Clinic noted that although both sexes could easily be infected with cancer of the breast, women were mostly vulnerable since they had more developed breast tissues.
She highlighted that the disease which hitherto was recorded in elderly women above 50 was now prevalent among younger ones, especially between the ages of 25 to 49.
Demystifying the notion that anti-perspirants and the wearing of brassiere caused breast cancer, Dr Partey-Newman encouraged regular seminars and mass screening among the public, especially in rural areas, in order to reduce the high disease rate.
On his part, Dr Promise Sefogah, representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO), lauded the initiative taken by the New Times Corporation to sensitise the youth, mostly girls, on breast cancer.
He expressed worry that most patients shyed away from chemotherapy with the fear of losing their hair thereby worsening their situation.
“It is very prudent to note that an early detection of symptoms shortens the duration of chemotherapy,” he added.
The Headmistress of the Labone Senior High School, Mrs Rejoice Akua Acolor, cautioned the students to be mindful of their eating habits to reduce their risk exposure.
Marketing Manager of the NTC, Mr Alfred Koomson, explained that the corporation targeted students for the awareness talk to empower them with knowledge and reduce late presentation at the health facilities.
He tasked them to help sensitise their colleagues and loved ones concerning the effects of getting breast cancer.
As part of the programme, midwives from the Kaneshie Polyclinic took the students through the process of self breast examination.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH