Breast cancer as the name suggests is a cancerous disease which affects breast cells and tissues. It mostly results when abnormal shape and size of the lump is found in the breast, pus or fluid discharge from the nipple, inverted nipple, change in colour of the breast as well as change of shape and size of the whole breast.
Breast cancer is a disease of the white or high-income countries but the frequency of mortality occurs mostly in Africa. This is because the detection, control, and prevention mechanisms are very problematic and critical in Africa. Although the morbidity of this disease is frequent in high - income countries, they have human resources and other factors such as screening programs to help detect early development of cancer. However, screening programs in Africa is very critical and ineffective for decades of years leading to high mortality among many African women.
Females found in Africa with breast cancer are mostly between the age of 30-45 years which means they are mostly younger. Most of these females are illiterate, so there's a delay for health care interventions. Most of them engage in herbal medication( village herbalist) which have no medical benefits which later worsen the condition at large, where prognosis is poor leading to late stage of the diseased diagnosis which is mostly fatal. This poor prognosis is due to the limited detection and screening resources as well as public education about the disease in various public health sectors which may include self and clinical breast examinations, mammography, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging and safe surgical procedures.
Early detection of breast cancer through screening had improved to reduce the mortality rate of the disease among the high-income countries. These countries to be precise have approved implementation and sustainable screening programs and policies across health sectors, radio talk shows, door to- door approach to be able to cut down the mortality among females. Most African countries find it difficult to sustain and implement laws and policies for the screening and resources factors due to political instability and financial downstream.
In high -income countries, the use of these screening programs and resources such as the mammography together with clinical breast examination are widely distributed in various health sectors, unfortunate these resources are mostly limited in Africa where the most techniques approach for screening is based on clinical breast examination than the use of mammography and other techniques.
To conclude, early detection of breast cancer among African countries need to be strategically planned right from sociopolitical implementations to be able to reduce the mortality rate as compared to high-income countries. The use of mammography and other screening methods (clinical and self-breast examinations) and other programs must be pushed to low resource setting in Africa in reducing the breast cancer mortality among our African females.
Dr Kingsley Preko
Dr A. T. Derrick.
School of Medical Science
University of Cape Coast.
Williams, Michael T.
Physician Assistant Student
University of Cape Coast.
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