18.05.2004 General News

KATH records 129 cancer cases since January

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Kumasi, May 18, GNA - The Radiotherapy Department of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi has recorded 129 cancer cases since the centre started operations in January this year. Dr Baffour Awuah, a Radiation Oncologist and Head of the department, said out of the number, 106 were females and 23 males. He was speaking at a meeting to introduce the Single Visit Approach to Cervical Cancer Prevention using Visual Inspection With Acetic Acid (VIA) and cryotherapy in Kumasi on Monday.

Consultants, directors of health services, pharmacists, family planning officials, surgeons, and community health nurses, social workers, business administrators and managers, attended the meeting. Dr Awuah said out of the 106 female cases, 43 were cervix, 20 were breast cancer cases and 43 had various others.

He said the youngest case recorded was 28 years and the oldest patient was over 80 years. "We are in the cancer age and after 40 years, if you do not die of diabetes or hypertension, you can die of cancer". Dr Awuah stressed that the centre was now concentrating on women and there was therefore the need to integrate cancer screening into family planning programmes.

Professor Sydney Adadevoh, a gynaecologist and a cervicare project director of JHPIEGO Corporation, an affiliate of John Hopkins University, said the government was making efforts to integrate VIA and Cryotherapy into routine health care services.

He said 400,000 people globally die of cancer and that 80 percent of them come from the developing world with 200,000 women dying of the disease, pointing out that there was high mortality rate in the developing countries due to lack of diagnosis equipment.

Professor Adadevoh said access to sex screening and ability to sex screening were necessary because early detection of the diseases can help get it cured.

Dr Sylvia Deganus, Cervicare Project Manager, JHPIEGO, briefed the meeting on the cervicare project lessons from the Greater Accra region with reference to Amasaman and Ridge hospitals.

She said the two areas faced problems of lack of support from husbands and stressed the need to focus campaigns on the male partners. Dr Deganus said the two programmes had achieved tremendous success and that there was the need for KATH to co-ordinate its activities with the Greater Accra project to help women in Ashanti.

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