October is marked as Breast Cancer Awareness Month globally to help increase attention and support for awareness, early diagnoses, and treatment as well as palliative care for women with breast cancer.
In this regard, Mawuli Photography has partnered with Breast Care International to educate and encourage women on the need to screen their breasts routinely in order to detect the disease at a treatable stage before it becomes deadly.
A report by the National Cancer Steering Committee indicated that an analysis of autopsy records over a 10-year period in the Department of Pathology, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), showed that the leading cancer deaths in females is breast cancer, followed by cervix, hematopoietic organs, liver, stomach and colorectal cancer.
Breast cancer is when the body cells in the breast grows out of control. This can kill the woman when they spread out of the breast to the brain, lungs, liver or bones. And even though risk factors like excessive alcohol intake, smoking, genetic mutation and family history increases a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer, the number one risk factor is being a woman.
Customer Excellence Manager for Mawuli Photography, Delali Ayikoe stated that “The statistics on breast cancer in Ghana are very alarming (2,055 deaths in 2020) and we felt that we needed to do more to help our clients and women in general stay safe and protect themselves from this deadly disease. Partnering with BCI Ghana to shoot this educative video is one of the many steps we plan to take to ensure the general wellbeing of our mothers, sisters and daughters.”
In a video shot at Mawuli Photography’s Spintex Photo studio, Dr Abena Addai, resident surgeon for Peace and Love Hospitals and a PhD candidate in breast oncology highlighted three ways to increase the chances of an early detection.
- Know your breasts and how they feel:
Start your monthly breast self-examination by looking at your breasts in a mirror, then carefully massage your breasts and armpits and gently squeeze your nipple for any discharge.
When done regularly, women will be able to easily find any change in the size, shape or color of their breasts or nipple. There are no lumps in a normal breast.
10 out of 100 breast cancer patients have a positive family history of the disease. If any member of your family has a history with breast cancer, it’s advisable to start your mammograms at 35 as your risk of developing the disease is a little higher.
Every month after your period it’s necessary to do your own breast self-examination. A trained health personnel should do a clinical breast screening for you at least once every year. The older you get, the higher your chances of getting breast cancer. So, if you are above 40, it is recommended to start your yearly mammogram.
With early diagnosis, women have a higher chance of surviving breast cancer. Pay close attention to your breasts and consult a health center if you notice any inconsistencies.
Breast Care International is offering free clinical breast screening at the Peace and Love Hospitals in Accra and Kumasi from now till the end of October, 2021.