Dr Beatrice Wiafe-Addai, President of Breast Care International (BCI), has advised Ghanaian women aged 40 and older to get regular mammograms and self-breast screening to reduce breast cancer mortality.
She explained that most breast cancer cases were presented for treatment at the late stages where little could be done to save lives.
DR Wiafe-Addai was speaking at the launch of the 11th edition of BCI Ghana’s ‘Walk for the Cure,’ slated for Accra on October 7, 2023.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breast cancer is the leading cause of death among women globally.
In 2020, 2.3 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer, and there were 685,000 deaths globally, while in Ghana, more than 4,650 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed annually since 2020, with 2,020 dying annually.
Dr Wiafe-Addai indicated that while early detection and treatment saved lives, many women failed to seek treatment due to myths and misconceptions, which delayed treatment.
‘A lot of our women are in the prayer camps, eating all sorts of things and praying, hoping to get cured,’ she said, adding that the situation was unacceptable.
Dr Wiafe-Addia said that despite the awareness, many educated people had also fallen prey to misconceptions that were causing unwarranted deaths in the country.
She was particularly worried that some breast cancer victims were prone to poor treatment, a lack of support, and divorce, which she considered disturbing.
‘Ensuring support for breast cancer victims is very important. Do not divorce your wives when they are diagnosed with breast cancer, it is not the woman’s fault … this is the time that she needs you more. You may also have a sister with breast cancer, and someone may divorce her as well. Let us show love to our women when they are diagnosed.’
She called on the public to support the BCI in creating awareness and to save lives.
Mrs Elizabeth Sackey, Chief Executive Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, urged the public to get regular screenings and early diagnosis to prevent the terminal stage of breast cancer.
According to her, taking precautions such as regular exercises, eating well, and ensuring self-breast examination and mammogram would go a long way to save lives.
She commented Dr Wiafe-Addai for her advocacy work and for being the leading voice over the years to prevent breast cancer and its related deaths among women.
Nana Ama Djanbea II, Queen Mother of Pokuase Djanman, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), noted that though breast cancer was deadly, however early detection could save many lives.
‘Breast cancer is not as dangerous as perceived in the public, it only gets worse and more devastating when treatment is delayed. Though it is common among women, men are also affected. I urge everyone to avail themselves for testing, particularly the mammogram for persons who have attained 40 years and above for early diagnosis and treatment.’
Source: Ghana News Agency