Set up breast cancer fund to increase survival rate – Dr Aryeetey

 The Breast Society of Ghana (BSoG) is advocating the establish­ment of a fund for the treatment of breast cancer in Ghana to increase survival rate of the disease.

According to the group many die of breast cancer due to the inability to afford treatment but “nobody deserves to die of a curable disease due to financial constraints.”

• Dr Aryeetey (inset) addressing participants in the programme

A member of BSoG, who is an also an oncologist, Dr Naa Adorkor Aryeetey, made the call last Friday during the launch of BSoG’s breast cancer awareness month which is on the theme “Breast Care-Work­ing Together to Succeed.”

She said, “Establishing a breast cancer treatment fund in Ghana is crucial and de­mands urgent attention and robust financial support because it will help alleviate the financial burden on affected individuals, enabling timely access to quality healthcare whiles facilitating public awareness cam­paigns and educational initiatives.”

“It will also help reduce incidences of late-stage diagnoses, and ultimately save lives.”

Touching on strides made so far in the management of breast cancer in Ghana, she said the institutionalisation of tumor boards at the various teaching hos­pitals, training of more oncologists, psy­chologists, and the holding of frequent meetings to decide on best treatment options for cancer patients have gone a long way to improve the sur­vival rates of the disease.

She also revealed that improvement in pathology services had been key to the success story.

Describing gaps in the treatment of breast cancer in Ghana as worrying, she hoped that soon major problems like misconceptions surrounding the disease and treatment options, stigmatisation, the lack of knowl­edge on the disease and reliance on alternative drugs would become a thing of the past.

The Greater Accra Regional Health Director, Dr Akosua Agyeiwaa Owusu-Sarpong, said systems must be put in place to pro­mote early detection of breast cancer through awareness creation programmes in various communities across the country.

Also, she stressed the need for the im­provement of access to screening services such as the presence of mammograms in health facilities in all the regions.

According to Dr Owusu-Sarpong, com­pliance to treatment by patients diagnosed with breast cancer was essential to ensure good health outcomes.

She stated that some patients refused some aspects of treatment such as mastec­tomy (removal of the affected breast) and radiotherapy.

“I will encourage all patients to adhere to the treatment protocol prescribed by their health care professionals to ensure better care and good outcomes,” she added.

She encouraged every member of the public to go for regular breast screening to support early detection and management.

The BSoG inaugurated its breast cancer survivor group chaired by a breast cancer survivor, Ms Dorothy Arthur, during the programme


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