The First Lady, Mrs Lordina Mahama, has observed that breast and cervical cancers are entirely preventable when reported early to health facilities. At the advance stage, not much can be done, though Ghana has comprehensive cancer centers. Early detection, she said, is key to breast cancer survival.
The First Lady made this remarks in a speech read for her by the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Ms Hanny Sherry Ayittey, at the fundraising Dinner in aid of Mobile Digital Mammography Unit organised by the Western Region Queenmothers Association for “The Save a Breast Ghana Campaign” in Takoradi.
Mrs Mahama revealed that breast cancer is the second commonest cancer among women in Ghana today, and forms 15 per cent of all cancers and 40 per cent of female cancers. She noted that the disease becomes generally common as one gets older.
According to the First Lady, mammography will be used as diagnostic tool due largely to the fact that there are few mammograms currently available in public health facilities.
The Ghana Health Service, Mrs Mahama said, is establishing breast and cervical cancer screening services at the district levels where health providers are trained to screen women who visit the health facilities. Adding that “to ensure early detection and prevention therefore, breast clinics have been set up at the two teaching hospitals, Korle Bu in Accra and Komfo Anokye in Kumasi, and few regional hospitals.”
Mrs Mahama told the gathering that through her foundation, the Lordina Foundation, she has been advocating and raising resources towards the fight against breast and cervical cancers both in Ghana and internationally.
She further stated that the harrowing statistics of breast cancer prevalence, morbidity, and mortality in Ghana and globally is a wakeup call to all; including government, politicians, civil society, corporate bodies, and international development agencies to rethink and redouble their approach and commitments.
The First Lady commended the Western region Queenmothers Association for the objective of raising funds towards procuring the first Mobile Digital Mammography Unit for the region. This she said is a laudable gesture and pledged her personal support, but also called on NGOs and corporate bodies to support the initiative.