The International Maritime Hospital (IMaH) on Wednesday, commenced its series of free breast cancer screening for residents of Tema in line with the breast cancer awareness month, celebrated worldwide every October.
The free screening which would be carried out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the month of October, is aimed at raising awareness and promoting early detection of breast cancer.
The theme for the awareness month is: “Together let’s fight breast cancer”.
Dr. Sylvester Yaw Oppong, Chief Executive Officer, IMaH, said the exercise, as part of the facility’s Corporate Social Responsibility, was to encourage women to be attentive to their bodies, do regular breast self-examination, and get screened to prevent deaths associated with breast cancer.
Dr Oppong said the breast was an important organ of the human body which must not be left unattended to as its neglect could have grave consequences.
He added that the need for early detection was very important because breast cancer could be treated when detected at the initial stage.
“The breast is a very important organ for the body and doesn’t have to be an organ to send people to their graves, once breast cancer is early detected, the person can have treatment and live a normal life, it can be dealt with and not cut it off, ” he indicated
He said a lot of the breast problems occured within the productive age of women, indicating that as that was the period when most of them nursed their children, it would be problematic to have the breast removed because of cancer.
He said women should not feel shy or intimidated to get tested and learn about the disease, but rather visit the hospitals regularly for checkup as well as do self-examination often.
He disclosed that the free screening was initiated by his outfit in 2018 after the hospital was built and commissioned by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) two years ago to serve as a tertiary facility with well-equipped laboratory and other facilities for residents of Tema and its environs.
Dr Oppong indicated that a total of 650 persons were screened by his outfit during its maiden screenings in 2018 adding that out of the number, about 243 people were referred to have mammography, while about 102 did ultrasound scan as the physical examination revealed some suspicious lumps which needed to be confirmed.
He stated that even though emphasis was on women, breast cancer could also affect men.
Dr. Yaa Akyaa-Boateng, Family Physician Specialist at (IMaH), said some of the risk factors of breast cancer included obesity, alcoholism, and radiation.