Dr Beatrice Wiafe-Addai, President of Breast Care International of Ghana (BCI) has urged women with symptoms of breast cancer to report promptly to nearby health centres for treatment.
She said the disease could be cured and detected early and the symptoms treated but should not stay at home to make it worse before reporting to health personnel.
Dr Wiafe-Addai made the call when addressing women and students Junior and Senior High Schools to mark celebration of this year's Breast Cancer Awareness Walk at Nkoranza on Tuesday.
The celebration was jointly organized by BCI, management of Peace and Love Hospital in Kumasi and Nkoranza South District Assembly under the theme “Let's Walk to Fight Ignorance.”
Dr Wiafe-Addai who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Peace and Love Hospital, said everyone was at risk of contracting the diseases but women were more susceptible to suffer most and noted that breast cancer had now been identified as hereditary in some families.
She therefore, stressed the need for women to cultivate the habit of self examination of their breasts monthly for early detection of any unusual changes and report promptly for the necessary medical attention.
Dr Wiafe-Addai said “though scientific research has not come out yet with the main causes of breast cancer it has been noted to affect mostly black women below the age of 50.”
She advised people in the area to patronize the National Health Insurance Scheme to enjoy affordable and quality health care, adding “Treatment of breast cancer is under the scheme, women should take such an advantage to undergo breast screening exercises for early detection of the disease.”
Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo wife of NPP Flag bearer in an address read on her behalf expressed concern about how ignorance, illiteracy and poverty had contributed to the spread of the disease in many communities.
She said available statistics from World Health Organization (WHO) indicated that breast cancer contributed about 12 per cent of death reported worldwide and therefore appealed to women to take proper care of their breast to reduce the mortality rate.
Mrs Akufo-Addo advised women to eat more fruits and vegetables to help prevent contracting the disease.
She later donated 1,000 Ghana cedis to support activities of BCI to embark on effective sensitization programmes to promote health of women.
Mr James Kwabena Appiah-Awuah, Nkoranza South District Chief Executive commended Dr Wiafe-Addai for the efforts to address breast cancer issues in the country to save lives of women who sometimes associate the disease to witchcraft.
He advised the women to be ambassadors of the message and join in the campaigning for awareness creation of breast cancer.
Mrs Theodosia Jackson, National President of Women Ministry of Ghana Congress on Evangelization (GHACOE) pleaded with management of Ghana Aids Commission to spread their tentacles in offering support to breast cancer awareness programmes in the same way as HIV/AIDS since the disease was on the ascendancy and claiming lives of many Ghanaians.
She advised husbands not to divorce their wives when they contract the disease but rather encourage them to seek medical treatment.
Nana Yaa Dudua Kani, Queen mother of Nkoranza called on opinion leaders, assembly members, unit committees, chiefs, religious leaders and teachers in the communities to keep their people well informed to help check the disease at the community level.
Earlier, members of GNAT Ladies led the girls in a route march through the principal streets of Nkoranza with brass band music and placards.
Some of the placards read “Breast Cancer is a Public Health Concern”, Walk for Care Walk for Life”, “Examine Your Breast Regularly”, “Take no Chance. Breast Cancer Kills” and “Stay Healthy Ghana Needs You”.