Dr Beatrice Wiafe-Addai (standing), Chief Executive of Breast Care International, speaking at the event
Dr Beatrice Wiafe-Addai (standing), Chief Executive of Breast Care International, speaking at the event

Support breast cancer victims - Corporate institutions urged

Business and corporate institutions have been encouraged to make support for breast cancer victims a permanent feature in their corporate social responsibility agenda.

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That will go a long way to cushion the efforts the government puts in to support victims.

The Deputy Comptroller General of Immigration in charge of Legal, Victoria Baaba Asare, who made the call, said looking at the patient statistics and the government’s inability to fight the battle alone, little support from individuals and institutions would make a great impact, especially on the lives of the victims and their families.

“It is about time businesses and corporations included it as a feature in their Corporate Social Responsibility agenda to support our sisters, mothers and brothers who may unfortunately be affected,” she said.

She was speaking at a breast cancer awareness and screening programme held in Accra last Tuesday.

The event was organised by Breast Care International in collaboration with Immigration Ladies Association (IMMILAC) of the Ghana Immigration Service, Women in Aviation, and Delta Airlines. 

Breast cancer

Mrs Asare, who is also the President of IMMILAC, noted that breast cancer was one of the most easily curable cancers if detected, diagnosed and treatment began early.

She said the significance lay not just in spreading awareness, but also in fostering a sense of community, encouraging regular screenings and championing the resilience of survivors.

She noted that though breast cancer was prevailing in women, men also suffered from it.

Mrs Asare, therefore, encouraged men to take breast cancer seriously and add it to their health checklist. 

Statistics

The Chief Executive Officer of Breast Care International, Dr Beatrice Wiafe-Addai, said breast cancer caused 685,000 deaths globally in 2020, and in Ghana, over 4,000 women were diagnosed annually, accounting for 31.8 per cent of all cancer cases.

She, therefore, advised that women should conduct self-breast examinations and report anomalies for early treatment, adding that the disease was not a curse but rather, one of the non-communicable diseases.

Myths and misconceptions

Dr Wiafe-Addai noted that the fear and the stigma were all because of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the disease.

“People think it’s a spiritual disease and that is the reason why a lot of women are in the prayer camps.

We want women to understand that breast cancer is a hospital disease and if they go to the hospital early, they will be cured. 

“If the disease is detected early, we can remove the tumour and preserve the breast,” the breast cancer specialist emphasised.

She also noted that a lot of women with breast cancer were also using all sorts of herbal medicines, stressing that the Food and Drugs Authority has not given anybody the licence to use their product to cure breast cancer.

She, therefore, called for a concerted effort on educating women on the risk in resorting to herbal treatment for breast cancer.

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