Breast Cancer High Among Young Women


A section of the participants at the workshop

Cases of breast cancer at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) are rising, especially among young women in the country, Professor Joe-Nat Clegg-Lamptey, a consultant surgeon at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, has said.

‘Out of the total Ghanaian population, women aged 40 to 49 have the highest number of cancer cases, but we are seeing more cancer cases among women aged 30 than 65, and among women aged 25 than 70,’ he said.

Presenting findings of the study on breast cancer and care in the country, Prof Clegg-Lamptey said the young women report the cases late to the authorities where cost of treatment is high.

‘Sixty to 75 percent of the cases we see at Korle-Bu are at their advanced stage,’ he observed.

Prof Clegg-Lamptey mentioned that although the disease is a leading cause of cancer deaths in the country with 29.3 percent, it is amenable with early detection, which can be achieved through education.

‘Women know when something is wrong with their breasts but they need to know what they should do when they find out,’ he noted.

The consultant surgeon therefore called for adequate counselling for women diagnosed with the disease and funding for the purchase of equipment and treatment of the cancer cases, particularly when patients cannot afford the cost.

Prof Clegg-Lamptey was speaking at the first Global Health Workshop on Cancer themed: ‘Screening, Prevention, Diagnosis and Management of Breast, Cervical and Prostate Cancers.’

Global Health Workshop
The Global Health Workshop is a three-day event organised by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, USA, the Nuguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Accra, Ghana and the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria to bring together cancer experts from America and a select group of physicians, epidemiologists and nurses from Ghana and Nigeria to enhance collaborative research in the field.

The aim of the workshop was to identify priority areas for collaborative research in the three leading cancers in the sub-region – breast, cervical and prostate cancer.

Chukwumere Nwogu, Professor of Oncology at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo New York, said breast cancer, cervical and prostate cancers account for the majority of cancer deaths in the region.

He also said despite the trend, early detection through screening and proper management of the disease can help save a lot of lives.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri


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