Women urged to check breasts regularly

Former Deputy Minister for Health, Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye, has called for regular breast examination at health facilities in the country to avoid the rising spate of breast cancer among women in the country.

According to Dr Okoe-Boye, the number of breast cancer cases recorded in the country was alarming and efforts must be made to tackle the issue by regular screening.

He was speaking at Breast Cancer Awareness Symposium held by the Danquah Institute yesterday under the theme, “surviving breast cancer through awareness, care and management.”

“We cannot wait yearly to screen our women and even men for breast cancer. Preventive care is very vital and we must find ways to make breast examination part of normal procedures at health facilities,” he stated.

The statistics, she said, was frightening as an examination of 3000 women in 2016 across five regions revealed that, 23 had breast cancer and did not know. That he said meant that, with Ghana’s population, out of seven million adult females,50, 000 would record breast cancer cases.

Women, she said, as part of work procedure or certain annual activity, must be made to present their breast examination results which would go a long way to improve upon regular screening.

He added that, there must be a policy to get people examined just like any other chronic disease.

He asked that, women must avoid seeking spiritual help but attend health facilities when they find something wrong with their breasts.

“Advocacy would go a long way to help address the situation and the strategy used for addressing maternal mortality must be directed to breast cancer,” he stated.

On her part, a senior lecturer at the Department of Surgery of the University of Ghana Medical School, Dr Florence Dedey reiterated that, early detection and treatment would ensure survival.

“It is also important to seek help at the right health facilities to get the best treatment,” she stated.

She said, a comprehensive cancer unit was essential at facilities to deal with the issue.

“There is room to improve upon the facilities in the country so we could detect early and treat adequately,” she said.

A health practitioner,  Dr Nelson Agoadoy,  also encouraged the public not to stigmatise persons with breast cancer.

“Breast cancer is not contagious and the public must rather support victims and help them recover,” he stated.

A breast cancer survivor, Mrs Susan Malik, also shared her experience with the audience and encouraged women to screen their breasts regularly.

The month of October is celebrated globally as breast cancer awareness month, hence initiatives across the country to educate women on preventive measures.

BY MICHAEL D.ABAYATEYE

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