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12.08.2009 Health

More women divorced after breast cancer treatment - KATH

By myjoyonline
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Latest reports from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) indicate that about 20 percent of women seeking breast cancer treatment there have been divorced by their husbands soon after seeking treatment.

Doctors at the hospital say the situation is making patients reluctant to reveal their conditions to their spouses.

Breast cancer tops the number of cancer-related ailments reported in health institutions around the country. The Ashanti region tops the list followed by the Brong Ahafo and Central regions.

The situation has been blamed on poor screening, lack of early detection and as well as ignorance of the disease even among health professionals.

More than 50 percent of Ghanaians with breast cancer report eight months or more after first noticing a change in their breast, doctors say.

Perhaps what is stoking the reported divorces is the fact that doctors often remove the cancerous breasts - in advanced stages - of patients.

Such a method is necessary to ensure that the cancer does not spread further.

Speaking in an interview with Kumasi-based Luv FM reporter Elton John Brobbey, a one-time sufferer of breast cancer said doctors had told her she had no option than to yank off her breasts to save her life.

“Just being told to let them take off your breasts is not easy because this is something you have not prepared [for],” she said.

“I said to myself why don't I accept it; when I cover myself nobody sees it; I don't know what people have covered so let me accept it.”

A specialist in breast pathology at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Dr Beatrice Wiafe Addae, said women who give birth after age 33 are at more risk to contract the disease.

She indicated that men are also vulnerable indicating that 24 out of the reported 462 cases in 2004 were men.

Story by Elton John Brobbey/Fiifi Koomson/

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