Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in Ghana, killing about 2,000 women in 2020 in Ghana.
This was contained in a report by Changing Young Minds Project, a breast and cervical awareness group made available to the Ghana News Agency in Ho at the weekend.
It said it was the commonest cancer in women and that more than 4,000 new cases were diagnosed in the country in 2020.
The report said the peak ages for the disease was between 40 to 49 years but women as young as 20 years were diagnosed.
It stated that two percent of breast cancer cases were found in men.
The report mentioned risk factors of the disease as having a close family member with cancer, not having children and prolonged exposure to female hormones, for example taking of oral contraceptive pills.
Others it said are unhealthy lifestyles, excessive alcohol intake and obesity.
The report noted that all women are at risk of developing the disease.
“It is therefore imperative for every woman to look out for warning signs and symptoms,” it said.
It continued that the signs include lump or thickening inside the breast, swelling, warmth or darkening of the breast, itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple or other parts of the breast and pulling in of the nipple or other parts of the breast.
Change in the shape or size of the breast, dimpling of the skin, nipple discharge that starts suddenly and new pain in one spot that does not go away, it said are the others.
The report continued that it is a myth that breast cancer is caused by witches, or it is a spiritual disease adding that it is not contagious.
It also stated that chemotherapy and radiotherapy do not poison the body and called on all women to regularly visit health facilities to check their breasts.
In another development, Miracle Life Hospital in Ho is organizing a free breast screening programme at the facility on 10th October 2023 from 8 am to 2pm.
A letter signed by Dr. Seyram K. Letsa, Medical Director of the hospital and copied to the GNA said it is their social responsibility to society.