Health News Sun, 15 Jul 2018

Breast cancer creates a huge burden on the family and society - Dr Dede

‘The cancer experience is not just an intrapersonal one; it is also shared by those close to the person, such as spouse and children which creates a huge burden, both socially and financially on the family,’ a Surgeon at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Florence Dede has said.

According to Dr. Dede, the canker which mostly affects women can be so overwhelming considering the roles women play when life seems so full, it’s overflowing with growing families, career, friends and loved ones.

She added that although men suffer from the disease, there is only a rare 1-2% of such cases.

“Some men do get breast cancer, but they are very few when we take 100 people in Ghana who have breast cancer, only 1-2% are men so overwhelmingly it’s a disease that affect women and I am sure we all know the role that women play in the homes, in the society, in the nation at large.”

The Surgeon, who was speaking at the ‘Hats for Health Cancer Support Fundraiser’ held at the Accra Ridge Church in Accra, revealed that the rapid rate at which breast cancer affects young Ghanaian women who are barely in their 50s as compared to women in Western countries who are diagnosed with the disease much later in life is devastating.

Dr. Dede added that children whose parents are battling the disease suffer adjustment difficulties.

She further indicated that such women who may be in their early 40s do not get to live their full potentials since the disease, known for symptoms such as weakness and discomfort, renders them dysfunctional.

“…So whereas in the developed world it’s more common at the age of 50, more of the 60s, for us we have most of the people getting it in the 40s. We know of a young woman in her 40s who most likely have young children and family will be at the peak of her career. So, if such a woman is affected by breast cancer you can imagine the impact it has.” She said.

On the financial aspect, she stressed, “Treatment of breast cancer is not cheap, unfortunately. There is a lot that goes in the treatment,” considering the many hospitals trips, drugs, and surgery to correct the illness makes the financial burden on the family unbearable.

She, therefore, urged participants to go for regular check-ups and seek early treatment in case of any detection to avoid unnecessary complications.
Source: www.ghanaweb.com