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02.12.2007 Politics

Cancer is curable - Dr Baffour Awuah

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Dr Baffour Awuah, Head of the Oncology Directorate of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), has stated that the cancer disease does not always lead to death but can be cured if reported and detected on time.

He said there were other means of treating cancer apart from resorting to the palliation (surgery) which could prolong the life of the patient and, therefore, advised the public not to wait till the problem deteriorated, but to go for early examination to know their status for early treatment.

He said about 100 cases of the Breast Cancer Disease was recorded annually at the Oncology Department of the Hospital and more than 80 percent of the reported cases have to be treated through palliation due to the fact that they are not reported on time.

Dr Awuah was briefing more than 200 policemen and policewomen as well as some members of the public in Kumasi on Saturday after a cancer sensitization walk, which took place through the principal streets of the Metropolis.

The walk was organised by the Oncology Department of KATH in collaboration with the Sisters Support Network, a Breast Cancer Support Group, and the Ashanti Region Police Command.

Speaking under the theme; “Knowing More About Cancer, Less Scary It Becomes”, Dr Baffour Awuah emphasised that cancer did not develop only in the breast but also other parts of the body such as the brain, eye, nose, mouth, and other parts of the body.

He stressed that even though the causes of the diseases were not known yet he cautioned that progressive painless lump in any part of the body could be a sign of the disease, adding that, a non healing ulcer or sore, abnormal bleeding from the vagina, blood in the urine, stools, vomit and cough could also be signs hence, they must be reported.

Other symptoms of the disease the doctor listed, include change in bowel, change in voice, difficulty in swallowing and change in size and appearance of a mole.

He therefore encouraged Ghanaians, who are 18 and above to take advantage of the national health insurance scheme and get themselves examined irrespective of their sex since cancer and especially breast cancer could also affect males.

The participants were also given lessons on how to do self-examination to detect the disease.