NGO advocates regular breast examination to prevent cancer
The Frimpong-Manso Institute, an advocacy organisation, has called for early and regular breast examination for all women who have reached puberty and beyond.
“Let us all continue to promote the month of October (PINKtober) for awareness creation on breast cancer and the need for more of our women to get screened early and on a regular basis,” a statement signed by the President of the institute, Rev. Prof. Paul Frimpong-Manso, said.
It said data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicated that globally 2.3 million women have breast cancer and about 685,000 died from it in 2020.
Additionally, at the end of the same year, it said 7.8 million women were reported to be living with breast cancer for the past five years placing it as the predominant cancer among females.
In addition to age, the statement said other factors such as obesity, excessive alcohol intake, a positive family history of the cancer, early menarche, tobacco use and post-menopausal therapy had been reported to increase the risk of getting breast cancer.
“Nevertheless, about 50 per cent of breast cancers are without these notable risk factors except being female and an adult of over 40 years and that even though breast cancer presented with symptoms such as breast lumps without pain, change in size of breast or nipple appearance and bloody fluid from nipple, many do not present with signs in the early stage of the cancer. When the cancer progresses, it can spread to other organs such as the lung, liver and brain”.
It said for a low-middle income country such as Ghana, early detection remained the best chance to stem the tide and possibly roll back adverse outcomes of breast cancer, adding that it was essential in achieving this that is why we continue to educate our communities on the need for early and regular breast examination for all women who have reached puberty and beyond”.
On that note, it said it was in order to appreciate the many health workers in the country leading the charge against breast cancer through advocacy, screening and survivorship management.
It said it was fair to single out Dr Beatrice Wiafe Addai of the Breast Care International and Peace and Love Hospitals, a name synonymous with championing breast care for over two decades in the country.
“We acknowledge your immense contribution to educating many and providing management for the condition which has improved the quality of life of breast cancer survivors. Ayekoo to you and your team,” it said.