Breast cancer awareness month and beyond

Nana Afua Kobi Prempeh is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Kaiser Global Health Limited. Contact her on nana.prempeh@kaiserghana.com  

The breast is a vital part of the human body and we all love it! Mostly found on the chest, the breast comprises tissues that overlies the chest muscles. It normally contains milk tissues (for females) and fatty tissues.  The size of the woman’s breast is determined by the amount of fatty tissues. The breast enhances our body image and also serves as breastmilk conduit for babies.

Cancer of the breast is one common breast disorder in which the tissues grow in abnormal proportions. Breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body such as the liver and the bones. On this account, the world dedicates the month of October each year to create awareness on breast care and the need to prevent breast cancer. Also known as the “Pink Month”, October globally assesses breast health with various medical screenings. However, beyond October, how do we sustain breast care?

October is Pink

In Ghana, there are over 400 cases of breast cancer recorded at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital alone each year, with cumulative record cases of breast cancer of about 2,160 between 2012 to 2018, out of which 1201 of the people died. This is as a result of the advance nature of the cancer upon admission. The alarming statistics calls for global, regional and local action against the occurrence of breast cancer.

Every year, Ghana joins the world is creating awareness on the need to care for the breast through various screenings, lectures and other fun activities. These activities, mostly spearheaded by Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and its partners are geared toward creating the opportunities for people to screen for breast cancer, at least once a year. At the launch of this year’s campaign, the objectives the campaign to enlighten Ghanaians on the various stereotypes about breast cancer and the various preventive and treatment options were made known.

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The month-long campaign included breast screening sessions, floats, radio and television discussions, music shows etc.

Kaiser Global Health Insurance for example, partnered with Korle Bu and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospitals to organize breast screening at Makola market, Accra Mall and Kumasi Mall. Other sessions were organized for various clients of Kaiser. The efforts were part of Kaisers contribution to creating awareness on breast care and eradicating the menace in the long term.

What Happens Beyond the Pink Month?

The essence of the month-long campaign is to get the education of periodic breast care to be a lifestyle and to emulate the “prevention is better than cure” mantra to avoid the occurrence of a damage rather than mending the damage after it has occurred. As women, the health of our breast is delicate to us, our families and the nation at large.

Healthy lifestyles go a long way to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Alcohol intake poses dangerous risks to people. There is the need to reduce drastically the amount of alcohol one consumes. Secondly, staying physically active can reduce the risks of breast cancer. Exercises and regular keep fits can reduce the concentration of cancerous toxins in the body. Alternatively, doctors can advise on customized healthy lifestyles that can immune you from attracting the disease.

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Doctors recommend breast checkups at the hospital, at least once a year. Let us make it a point to honor these appointments and prioritize our health over our business or any other engagement. The checkup sessions will offer the opportunity to screen and detect early symptoms of breast cancer and begin treatment of it. Self-check for breast cancer is also an important exercise worth considering. This can be done at least once a month. Even though mammograms can detect for breast cancer, self-examination equips ladies with knowledge about their bodies and helps them to recognize possible changes.

The subject of breast is no long a taboo. Parents and guardians should also expose their children to early breast screening.

Kaiser and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Kaiser Global Health is contributing to the achievements of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages. The insurance company is providing insurance coverage for corporate, families and individuals in order to achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential healthcare delivery.

Kaiser insurance policies have funds set aside to treat breast cancer and equally conduct free breast screening. Clients are encouraged to undertake various screening for breast cancer. In the event of a cancerous infestation, we provide policies that cover the treatment of breast cancer.

In conclusion, we are called upon to make breast care a lifestyle by through periodic self-checks or visiting the doctor. In this month of love, let us love ourselves and our families.

 

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