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Breast cancer has emerged the most prevalent cancer disease in women worldwide, with increasing statistics in developing countries where majority of cases are diagnosed in their terminal stages.
In light of this, the month of October has been set aside, worldwide, to raise awareness on the disease. The theme for this year is "Early detection and effective treatment saves life."
Every year, several hospitals across the country open their doors to women for free breast screening during the breast cancer awareness month but many women do not take advantage of the opportunity.
Some women opt for mastectomy after they are diagnosed with the deadly disease. This means they undergo surgery to have the affected breast removed. This, doctors say give women a higher chance of survival.
Sharing their views on the disease with www.ghanaweb.com, however, some men noted that they would not allow their partners undergo the procedure as the removal of the breasts would 'kill' their sexual pleasure.
"I won't allow my partner to cut her breast, that's not possible, because one breast is mine and the other for my baby, if one is removed there'd be a lot of pressure on the other so I wont allow that, I'll use the infected breast anyway."
The women who spoke to the news team however believed undergoing mastectomy would give them a higher chance of survival, hence they would opt for it.
"The doctors say, if I get infected in one breast and I don't allow a mastectomy to be done, it'd spread to the other breast, so in case I get breast cancer, I wouldn't hesitate to get it removed. And I have seen people die because they refused to remove it, so I would advise my fellow Ghanaians to get screened regularly."
Breast cancer has been marked with low survival rates in less developed countries, which can be explained mainly by the lack of early detection programmes, resulting in a high proportion of women presenting with late-stage disease, as well as by the lack of adequate diagnosis and treatment facilities.
According to the World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRFI), under its Continuous Update Project, (CUP) about a third of the most common cancers can be prevented through a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and taking regular physical activity Breast cancer begins in the breast tissue that is made up of glands for milk production, called lobules, and the ducts that connect the lobules to the nipple. The remainder of the breast is made up of fatty, connective and lymphatic tissues.
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