UT Bank, in collaboration with the Cancer Society of Ghana and the Korle-Bu Cancer unit is raising funds as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility to observe this year's Breast Cancer Awareness month which falls on every October. The theme for the year is 'Connect, Communicate, Conquer and Prevent Breast Cancer, One Woman at a Time. The Pink Ribbon Wear it. Share it.'
The Bank, in partnership with Citi FM is creating awareness about breast cancer in men and women in Ghana, and raising funds to help cure some people who are detected early with the disease.
Statistics worldwide indicate that nearly one in eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime — a total of one woman every three minutes — and nearly 2,000 men are diagnosed each year as well, 'and that's something that is not often discussed'.
A study conducted by the Korle-bu teaching hospital in 2007 revealed that breast cancer is the leading malignancy in Ghana. It is the second leading cause of death amongst the cancers. It accounts for 15.4% of all malignancies and appears to be on the increase. Fifty percent or more of Ghanaians with breast cancer report to hospitals at an advanced stages of the disease. On average they report 8 months or more after first noticing a change in their breasts.
According to Rev Victor Sackey, Founder of the Cancer Society of Ghana and presently its Executive Secretary, '…with early stage detection, breast cancer is 95% curable. In Ghana, only 25% of breast cancers are detected at the early stage, 75% are presented at late stage. This alarming difference is due to many factors including the fact that people take their health for granted, others are afraid whilst some are superstitious about what is happening to them'.
He lauded the UT Group for the initiative and appealed to other corporate institutions to support the Group saying 'without investment, breast cancer has no cure'.
The UT Group led by UT Bank is organizing a number of activities to create awareness amongst the public, particularly staff, on the need to take the disease serious. Some of the activities lined up include breast screening for men and women at the Legon Ajax park on Saturday 23rd October, after a walk from UT head office at Airport to Shiashi, through East Legon, to Okponglo Junction in Accra, and a charity fund raising dinner -UT Bank Pink Ball also on Saturday 6th November, 2010..
Mrs. Zara Neequaye, Co-ordinator of the programme at UT Bank says the company hopes 'to raise GHC100, 000 to provide cure for early stage of cancer for at least 200 persons in the year 2011. It is anticipated that early stages of diagnosis can be cured with as little as GHC500.'
'In Ghana, most women who are diagnosed at an early stage cannot afford treatment and often find themselves at an advanced stage and end up losing their lives' She added. An account has been opened at UT Bank with account no. 0101100001698 to which Ghanaians can make their contributions or purchase a ticket to be part of the charity ball.