SAVE The Women Solidarity Forum (SWSF) a Community-Based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) which aims at seeking the welfare of women and conscientizing them on issues that affect their health, education, capability building, has in collaboration with Breast Care International organized a free breast screening awareness programme for the people of Afienya and its environs in the Greater Accra Region.
The programme, which took place at the Youth Training Centre at Afienya, attracted a large number of women and men, some of whom were students of the Centre.
Bridget Simpi, Project Director for the NGO said the programme sought to educate the people within the community about the inherent dangers associated to breast cancer, emphasizing that SWSF seeks to save lives by increasing awareness of breast cancer through education and by providing alternative solutions for those in need.
She noted that anywhere one goes for breast screening, one pays for it but her outfit decided to do it free as its widow’s mite to the people.
Ms Simpi called on women not to wait until they have developed breast-related problems but always go for screening to avoid the consequences, saying that the issue of breast cancer and its attendance deaths
“Seeking early treatment is what we are advocating. Now if you do not know much about the disease, you will take things for granted but when you are conscientized and you see the symptoms, then you take early treatment and you save a lot of problems for yourself,” she stated.
Mrs. Afriyie Beniako, Public Relations Officer of Breast Care International, said the cause of breast cancer is not yet known but said the lifestyle of some women degenerate into the disease and thereby lambasted women who expose their breast in public, saying that in most cases, such exposure can attract evil spirit to dwell in the breast, since it attracts demons.
She, therefore, appealed to women to always protect themselves by dressing ‘decently’ so as to avoid these breast-related diseases.
Mrs. Beniako also said the exposure of the breast attracts the sun rays, which she maintains that it is very dangerous to the breast, stressing that cancer is a serious killer and that there is no limit to breast cancer. Hence, early detection can save their lives.
According to her, about three percent of patients of breast-related cases are men and thereby called on men to likewise have periodic screening.
When breast cancer starts out, it is too small to feel and does not cause signs and symptoms. As it grows, however, breast cancer can cause changes in how the breast looks or feels. Symptoms may include new lump in the breast or underarm (armpit); thickening or swelling of part of the breast; irritation or dimpling of breast skin; redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast; pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area; nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood; any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
Breast cancer (malignant breast neoplasm) is cancer originating from breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk. Cancers originating from ducts are known as ductal carcinomas; those originating from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas.
Worldwide, breast cancer comprises 10.4 percent of all cancer incidence among women, making it the most common type of non-skin cancer in women and the fifth most common cause of cancer death. Breast cancer is about 100 times more common in women than in men, although males tend to have poorer outcomes due to delays in diagnosis.
Some breast cancers are sensitive to hormones such as estrogen and/or progesterone, which makes it possible to treat them by blocking the effects of these hormones in the target tissues. These have better prognosis and require less aggressive treatment than hormone negative cancers.
To lower the risk of breast cancer, one should control one’s weight and exercise; know one’s family history of breast cancer. If you have a mother, sister, or daughter with breast cancer, ask your doctor what is your risk of getting breast cancer and how you can lower your risk; find out the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy; and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.