The GRO Oilfields Alliance Ghana Limited has joined corporate entities around the world to provide breast-screening for traders at Apremdo Market and students at Apremdo Catholic School in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis.
Akepne Sunu, General Manager of the Company, explained that the breast-screening is part of its corporate social responsibility.
“We are here to ensure that women and young ladies within our operational area are examined to see if there is any abnormality in their breasts, since early detection helps save lives. Our women need strength to be able to take care of our children and the family at large,” he said.
He said the company will organise the breast-screening and other medical outreaches annually. “We are always available to support the youth in our operational areas, guide and nurture them on their career path to be successful in society,” Mr. Sunu added.
Educating the market women, Mrs. Herty Eduku Amokyi, Principal Midwifery Officer-Kwesimintsim Hospital, explained breast cancer is a disease that’s a threat to all – especially women
The actual cause, she said, is not known; studies have shown that cells of the breast grow abnormally, rapidly and divide themselves to make a lump in the breast.
“Breast cancer has become a dangerous disease, and it very preventable by taking a decision to find and treat it at the right time.”
She mentioned that the risk factors include excessive alcohol intake, smoking, obesity; a woman who has not delivered before, that is maternal age above 35; and family history indicates a tendency for a person to get the disease.
Also, she said:” “Individuals putting themselves on hormone replacement, such as long use of oral contraceptives and emergency ones. We have some women for whom that has become their habit; they take emergency contraceptives every month since they do not want to be pregnant”.
Again, she said, prolonged use of oral contraceptives also predisposes a woman to getting breast cancer.
She said there is need for all to exercise regularly and eat a lot of fruit, vegetables and a well-balanced meal.
“Let us do well to protect ourselves.”
Ghana Cancer Plan
According to her, Ghana Cancer Plan has a proposal for every woman which explains that every woman should set aside the second or third day after every menstruation to do self-breast examination.
“In doing so, you stand in front of a mirror with an exposed chest; and then you look at the size, shape and contour of your breast. If there’s any changes in it, then you palpate one breast followed by the other starting from your armpit. When you are done, you squeeze the nipple to see if there is any discharge from your breast.”
The second plan, she said, is for every woman aged 40 and above to have a mammogram done and be sure their breasts are safe from breast cancer.
“The third plan is that every woman should go for check-up at a hospital once in a year,” she added.
Sometimes, she said, there is no pain or sign at all; but the nipples become inverted and become reddish. Also, there will be lump radiating to the armpit, pain in the breast, brownish or reddish discharge from the breast. “We are creating the awareness all over; when you detect it early, you’ll live.”
Mrs. Amokyi explained that managing breast cancer is possible when it is detected early.
“Not all lumps in the breast causes cancer; it has to be investigated to show whether it is breast cancer or an ordinary lump at a hospital. Management is chemotherapy, and they will give you hormonal medication to minimise the growth. You go through examination with an MRI machine for it to be managed by chemotharapy. However, when it gets to an advanced stage, the breast will be removed. Early detection and reliable treatment are key,” she clarified.