The 2020 Globocan cancer report indicates that 24,009 new cases of cancers occur annually in Ghana.
Out of the number, 15,802 people lose their lives, most of them victims of breast, liver, cervix and prostate cancers.
According to the Chairperson of the Ghana Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (GhNCDA), Dr Beatrice Wiafe-Addai, who dropped the hint, said there had been a surge in cancer cases since 2018, in the country and, therefore, called for urgent attention and warned that “breast cancer is still the leading cause of death among Ghanaian women as far as cancers are concerned”.
Speaking at this year’s World Cancer Day held at Goaso, Ahafo Region on Friday, Dr Wiafe-Addai said cancers in Ghana could be significantly reduced if charities operating in that space were assisted with adequate resources and logistics to reach the hinterlands where the condition was pervasive, due to poverty and ignorance.
The World Cancer Day was under the theme, “Close the Care Gap”.
It was celebrated by Breast Cancer International (BCI) in collaboration with the Goaso Traditional Council and the GhNCDA to expose significant barriers related to socio-economic factors that prevent many people from accessing life-saving services including treatment and care.
Dr Wiafe-Addai, who doubles as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Peace and Love Hospital, advised women to conduct self-breast examinations and report anomalies for early treatment.
She asked the women to visit medical centres if they noticed lump, swelling, redness and darkening, change in size, dimpling and nipple discharge in the breast, because early detection of breast cancer was important in saving lives.
She indicated that the collaboration with the Goaso Traditional Council and the GhNCDA to mark the day was an ample demonstration of the willingness, readiness and commitment of the BCI to fight cancers head-on with like-minded institutions.
“We have aligned our common vision and interest to among others, engage more brand ambassadors to go knocking on doors and practically plead with women to step out for our nationwide free cancer public education and screening programs,” she said.
Mr George Yaw Boakye, the Ahafo Regional Minister, commended BCI for bringing the programme to the Ahafo Region to educate and create awareness on breast cancer to the women in the area.
He was hopeful that the women would take lessons and report early to the health centres when they detected differences in the breasts to help save lives, saying that “prevention is better than cure.”
Nana Kwasi Bosompreh, the Omanhene of Goaso, called on all and sundry to support the nationwide campaign by BCI to improve the lives of cancer patients.
He advised the people to frequently visit the health centres to have their breast examined as early detection could save lives.
BCI, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Ghana, was established in 2002. It is a leading breast cancer advocacy organisation in Africa and globally, providing an enabling environment to enhance early detection and reduce the late stage presentation of breast cancer in Ghana.