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09.07.2004 Health

Cancer, 4th Killer At K'bu

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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Dr Joel Yarney of the National Centre For Radiotherapy, has disclosed that cancer is the fourth commonest cause of death in the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.

This, he said, is attributed to probably the increased life expectancy rate in the country.

He made this disclosure in an address at the monthly health promotion programme organized by the National Health Service (NHS) in Accra.

He said, cancer was an uncontrollable growth of cells, which could afflict any part of the body and out of the many cases, one- third of all cancers were preventable, one - third could also be cured on early detection while one - third of all cases were incurable, hence requiring palliation.

He said the cost involved in treating cancer was very expensive, ranging from eight to ten million cedis, which most Ghanaians and cancer patients could not afford.

In his address, Dr Clegg Lamptey, a consultant surgeon at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital said, in Ghana, cancer was increasingly becoming an issue although it did not affect so many people like infectious diseases. "It strikes when people are in their productive years and have enough experience to impart to the next generation," he said.

He said the commonest cancer affecting women in Ghana was breast cancer, constituting 16% of all cancer cases and affecting people within 35-50 years which is ten years earlier than that of developed countries.

He further said, breast cancer did not affect only women but between 1% and 2% of men in Ghana, adding that, 50% of patients reported when their condition had reached a more advanced stage and was almost out of control.

He therefore called on all who were suffering from cancer to ignore the misconception that it was spiritual and must be tackled from that angle.