Some participants during the event
Some participants during the event

Adopt Yoga to improve your physical well-being — Dr Ogunbola

A medical doctor at the Trust Hospital in Accra, Dr Ruth Ogunbola, has called on both men and women to adopt yoga to help improve their physical well-being.


She said yoga was a form of exercise that was very beneficial in decreasing certain risk factors for breast cancer.

“We have non-modifiable cancer risk factors including age, sex, family history and genetics.

These cannot be changed.

And we have modifiable cancer risk factors which include health behaviours and lifestyle factors such as diet and obesity.

 These can be changed to decrease your risk.

Yoga is a form of exercise that helps with modifiable cancer risk factors,” she explained.

Yoga for breast cancer

Dr Ogunbola was speaking with the Daily Graphic last Saturday at a breast cancer screening in Accra dubbed: “Yoga for Breast Cancer” organised by Korpha, a yoga fitness centre.

The event sought to showcase yoga as an exercise not only meant for reducing the risk of breast cancer, but also reducing the level of certain hormones that are linked with the development and progression of the disease.

Participants, who were mostly women, were taught some form of yoga exercises that helped one to relax and cope with stress, anxiety and depression.

Some health officials from the Trust Hospital provided a free breast screening services and also educated the women on how to self-examine their breast under shower.

The screening included blood pressure, blood sugar, height and weight measurement and Body Mass Index (BMI). Participants also received counselling on the significance of early detection in the management of breast cancer.

Dr Ogunbola said it was unfortunate that many people who were living a sedentary lifestyle, which was a risk factor for breast cancer, were yet to embrace some physical form of exercise such as yoga.

Sedentary lifestyle is when someone spends more hours per day sitting or lying down, lacking significant physical movement in their daily life.

Young people

Another medical doctor at the Trust Hospital, Dr Nana Ama Abankwa, said breast cancer was affecting more young people and it was very important for them to adopt healthy lifestyle.

She noted that a lot of women presented their cases to the hospital very late, especially at a time when the disease had spread to other parts, making it difficult to treat.

Dr Abankwa said early detection meant that the patient’s survival rate was very high, “when it is seen early the survival rate is about 90 per cent”.


Dr Abankwa underscored the need to self-examine the breast every month, explaining that it would help to detect changes early.

“Self-examine your breast monthly.

 And let a health worker examine the breast yearly.

If you are more than 40 years then you also add a mammogram.

 From 35 years we start doing ultra sound for you.

 If you are below 40, then we don’t recommend mammogram but if there’s breast cancer in a family, then you have to do imaging even before age 40,” she explained.


Certified yoga instructor

The founder of yoga for breast cancer, Gifty Akorfa Quarshie, who is also a certified yoga instructor, said yoga was a form of exercise believed to control the mind through the discipline of well-composed meditation, special breathing technique and siting posture for certain durations.

She said yoga was a healthy lifestyle that should be appreciated by all and added that anybody could adopt this physical fitness.

Together with her team, they donated an amount to the Trust Hospital Cancer department and called on organisations to partner to promote working towards a world where breast cancer was no longer a life-threatening disease.

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