Owing to the relatively possible shift of cancer burden to women in their early ages in recent times, the need for a nationwide breast cancer screening for women all ages has been emphasized.
The move is expected to help gain a complete understanding of the pattern of breast cancer distribution in the country, in order to enhance early detection, diagnoses and treatment, according to Superintendent, Stakeholder Engagement of AngloGold Ashanti, Mr. Edmund Oduro Agyei.
He said research shows that about 30 per cent of breast cancer patients are below 35 years.
This is also against the background that, in Ghana, nearly 70 per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer in Ghana are in advanced stages of the disease due to low awareness. The situation, results in limited treatment success and high death rate.
He noted that “one out of eight females has breast cancer, and one out of three males has prostate cancer.”
Mr. Agyei, who was speaking at a durbar to deepen awareness on breast and prostate cancer, at Edubiase, in the Adansi South District of the Ashanti region, said since the inception of the redevelopment phase, AngloGold Ashanti Ghana Obuasi Mine dedicated the whole month of October to create awareness for breast and prostate cancer.
This forms part of the company’s contribution to awareness creation, he added.
During this period, AngloGold Ashanti Ghana, in collaboration with AGA Health Foundation (AGAHF) ran series of Breast Cancer screening for workers, their dependents, contractors and community members, as well as Fundraising campaigns.
Also, an amount realized from employees’ voluntary donations was presented to the Noguchi Memorial Research Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) and Kumasi Centre or Collaborative Research in Tropical Diseases to support breast and prostate cancer research.
The company’s three-year Social Management Plan additionally had an extensive Health Improvement Programme which was used to support the achievement of SDG3, Good Health and wellbeing, of host communities and beyond.
Mr. Agyei said “the Breast and Prostate Cancer Grand Durbar we have organized today is an addition to the many health interventions we are implementing but more importantly it is also opening a new frontier of bringing quality health care at the doorstep of our communities.”
He was hopeful that communities will take advantage of this opportunity and present themselves for the screening.
Furthermore, he indicated that AngloGold Ashanti remains committed in making its catchment communities and societies better off.
“We therefore place people first and correspondingly put the highest priority on their health because we strongly believe that a healthy community is a productive and wealthy community.
It is in this regard that AngloGold Ashanti has over the years implemented several strategic interventions to contribute to improving access to quality health care in and beyond Obuasi.”
The Executive Director of AGAHF, Dr. Kwadwo Annim, recognized that early detection of breast and prostate cancers is critical to saving lives, while noting that prostate cancer is the second must frequent fatal cancer among males.
In view of this, he underscored the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle to reduce infection risks, and also entreated the public to frequently check for signs of infection. This could be done through physical examination, especially among women, as well as frequenting the hospital for screening.
The Breast and Prostate Cancer Grand Durbar was jointly organised by AngloGold Ashanti, the AGAHF, Adansi South District Assembly, Adansi South Health Directorate, and the Edubiase Divisional Council.
Officials of AngloGold Ashanti-Obuasi Mine, AGAHF in a group picture with traditional authorities