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01.11.2008 Social News

W/R Department of Women launches Fund to purchase mammogram


The Western Regional Office of the Department of Women has launched a Breast Cancer Fund to purchase a mammogram.

The mammogram would help to ensure early detection and treatment of breast cancer in the region, Miss Jane Edna Nyame, the Regional Director of the Department, said.

She was speaking at a Breast and Cervical Cancer Awareness Forum organised by the Department for women groups at Takoradi.

Miss Nyame said none of the hospitals in the region has a mammogram and women have to travel outside the region to have their breast screened for the disease.

She welcome the decision of the forum to institute a levy of one Ghana Cedi on women in the region, to help meet the cost of a mammogram and called on women groups to facilitate the collection of the levy.

Miss Nyame said the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has started undertaking breast cancer surgery but does not cover all aspects of treatment.

Miss Nyame said the peak age for the disease is between 40-49 years in Ghana, which is 10 years earlier than that of the Western World and the awareness level of the disease in the country was very low.

She said the disease could be managed at an early stage, while the late stage cancer was not manageable and curable, and this makes it imperative for every woman to visit the hospital for screening even when she has not noticed or experienced a suspicious sign of symptoms.

Miss Nyame said although detecting breast cancer at an early stage greatly improves the chances of successful treatment, most patients reported when the disease was far advanced.

Madam Emma Ampofo, a Principal Nursing Officer at the Western Regional Health Directorate, said breast and cervical cancers, were mostly prevalent among the poor.

She said both diseases affect men and women but women were at greater risk of being affected.

Madam Ampofo said the causes of cervical cancer included early marriage, multiple child birth, frequent change of partners and prostitution.

She said the disease which is preventable starts from the reproductive organs and spreads to nearby organs and the lymphatic system.

Madam Ampofo said breast cancer ranked second among the first ten killer diseases, following after heart attack and stroke.

She warned against high consumption of alcohol.

Later, over 200 women were screened for breast and cervical cancer at the function.