As the country commences activities to mark world breast cancer awareness month, Ghana’s First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has urged women to get regular screening so as to avoid late detection of the disease.
This, according to her, will help increase the survival rate of victims in the country.
Globally, Breast-cancer is the leading cancer for women, and the second leading cause of female cancer deaths.
Recent statistics by the World Health Organization indicate that, over 2000 women in Ghana get the disease and more than 1000 die from it every year.
As alarming as that may be, the organization also projects an increase in numbers in countries like Ghana.
Speaking at the launch of this year’s awareness month celebration, Mrs Akufo-Addo assured victims of the disease of government’s support.
“If we are to make a head way in improving the sad outcomes of Ghanaians with breast cancer, we cannot ignore these two pillars.
It is therefore not surprising, that the Korle Bu Breast Surgical unit has adopted the theme: Early Detection and Effective Treatment save lives for this year’s October Breast Awareness campaign. This hospital sees over 400 new breast cancer cases every year. Most of the women report with advanced disease, after trying unproven therapies.”
Breast cancer survival in advanced countries has improved over the last few decades. The improvement has been based on two factors; with the first being early detection through effective screening, and the second being effective treatment options made possible through cancer research.
“During this month of October, there will be a lot of publicity and education about breast cancer. Clearly, the problem is late detection and delayed treatment. Effective treatment is available in this country.” she noted.
The First Lady also called on the public to disregard misconceptions about the disease as well as false claims on treatment on the internet and other social media platforms.
“There are a lot of misconceptions about the disease as a result, many women end up in the hospital after trying other treatments; by this time, their cancers are no more curable. I have been informed that over 90% of patients with early breast cancer treated in this hospital survive the disease. This figure, compares with what pertains in the advanced countries. Yet, the majority of our patients do not survive.”
“I encourage our women to report early and comply with treatment that has been proven to be effective. It is important that we access proven treatment methods and educate others to do the same.”