Dr Helen Tettey, a Medical Doctor at the Takoradi Port Hospital, says the number of people who are dying from breast cancer disease keeps increasing.
Speaking to Skyy News in an exclusive interview, she indicated that awareness of the disease is very necessary because the occurrence of the disease is on the rise, but when it is detected early and treatments start early there is a higher chance of survival.
She said this is the reason October has been designated as a breast cancer awareness month worldwide to increase awareness about breast cancer, get people to examine themselves and also offer people hope as far as breast cancer is concerned.
Dr Tettey added that as of 2022, statistics show that over 250,000 cases of breast cancer have been recorded in Ghana, but 50% of them lost their lives to the disease.
She said, “WHO has designated that we need to increase awareness of breast cancer because the disease is on the increase,”
“The situation in Ghana is that, as of 2022, over 250,000 cases of breast cancer were recorded and about 50% out of that number died from the disease”
“We also have what we call a 5-year survival rate which is just about 25%, these figures are poor compared to what happens in other countries, this is because some women detect it late and they also delay visiting the hospital,”
Speaking on risk factors for breast cancer, Dr Helen Tettey added that being a woman is a risk factor, ageing, smoking, drinking a lot of alcohol, obesity, or a genetic trait can also be factors and others.
She added, “The big risk factor is that fact that you are a woman, breast cancer happens in both males and females it is only 1 percent in men compared to women,”
“Being a woman is a risk factor, ageing, smoking, drinking a lot of alcohol, obesity, or genetic traits, oral contraceptive pills and exposure to radiation,”
She advised women to examine their breasts at least once a month to know if they are affected by the disease so treatment can start early.
“As a woman, examine your breast once every month, usually around the time of your menses because the breast is usually engulfed and painful, so you can wait five days after your menstruation,”