The Chairperson of Breast Care International (BCI), Dr Mrs Beatrice Wiafe Addai, has urged individuals, corporate organisations and groups to attach the needed attention and commitment to the fight against breast cancer to ensure primary prevention, since the disease had no known cause.
She said the disease affected at least one out of every eight women, hence the need for testing for early diagnosis, treatment and cure.
She made the statement when she addressed thousands of participants in a BCI Walk for Cure march. The walk, which was undertaken by mainly Senior High School (SHS) students, survivors of breast cancer and their relatives and some organised groups last Saturday through some principal streets of Kumasi, was to create awareness of the need for people to get tested for the disease.
Myth and misconception
The survivors, who were clad in pink dresses, put up a spectacular display of dancing and singing to gospel music to explain the myth and misconception surrounding breast cancer.
The day, which was organised by Breast Care International and Peace and Love Hospital, started from the Baba Yara Sports Stadium to the Jubilee Park where the occasion was climaxed with displays by selected schools and breast cancer survivors.
Other notable persons and groups who joined the walk were persons with disability, men and showbiz icons such as Akosua Agyapong and police officers.
Dr Wiafe Addai said the unfortunate situation created by superstition, was one major problem affecting the fight against the disease, as patients and their families attributed the disease to witchcraft, hence the need to ensure testing and early treatment.
She expressed worry over the misconception by some people who believed that being diagnosed with breast cancer was tantamount to death, and urged such people to be inspired by the over 100 survivors who participated in the walk.
Touching on the risk factors, Dr Wiafe Addai said the first of such risk factors was being a woman, though some men also contracted the disease. She indicated that another risk factor was that, it was hereditary, and added that if a woman in a family had been diagnosed with breast cancer, then the rest were at risk and must be careful.
Women who had their first child after 33 years, those who have never had children and others with long menstrual cycles, were also at risk, she said, and urged the women not to be scared but to seek early testing because early testing and prompt action were equal to prevention.
She also took the gathering through self-examination and urged groups who wanted members of their organisations to go through breast examination to contact the Peace and Love Hospital.
Speaking before the start of the walk, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr John Alexander Ackon, commended the BCI and Peace and Love Hospital for their relentless efforts to ensure that Ghanaian women, even those in the remotest parts of the country, got tested and cured, and said the best way forward was early testing for treatment.