Health policy makers have been urged to put in place measures to ensure that breast examination becomes a routine check at the various health facilities.
The Programme Manager for Non-communicable Disease Control of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Efua Commeh, who made the call, said making breast examination a mandatory routine check would ensure early detection which could help save the lives of many breast cancer patients who die because of late detection.
Dr Commeh was speaking at the 4th Annual General Meeting of the Breast Society of Ghana (BSoG) in Accra recently.
The event, which was on the theme: “Improving Breast Disease Outcomes; the Role of the Breast Society of Ghana”, brought together health professionals from across the country to deliberate on how to improve the management and outcomes of breast diseases especially cancer.
Dr Commeh further stated that while putting in place those measures, it was also important to build the capacity of the health workers so that they could easily examine and educate patients on breast care.
“Health workers and policy makers have a role to play because if the right policies are not in place, a patient can walk into the hospital and still not get a clinical breast examination because it’s not mandatory or routine or simply because the health worker is not abreast of how these things are done,” she said.
The Programme Manager further called on all to refrain from discouraging patients from going through the treatment process but instead encourage them and give the necessary support that would ensure full recovery.
The President of the BSoG, Dr Hannah Ayettey Anie, said there was a rising incidence of non-communicable diseases including breast cancer worldwide, in Africa and in the country.
“Breast Cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of mortality in women,” she said.
BSoG, she said, had a unique role to play in propagating the message of breast cancer, making it a household name, providing easy access of information to the layman, demystifying the myths surrounding breast cancer and most importantly downplaying all forms of stigmatisation.
Again Dr Anie said it was the society’s aim to also establish a bond with survivors of breast cancer so they could share their experiences for the benefit of all.
The Chair of Council for BSoG, Charles Fordjour Agyeman, said breast cancer management had made strides in terms of awareness, diagnosis, surgery, counselling and advocacy.