Maggie Wealthy Foundation, a leading charity organisation last Saturday, October 28, 2023, defied heavy traffic to embark on a journey of over 150 kilometres to a farming community in the Volta Region to educate rural people on breast and prostate cancers.
The elderly, youth, and adolescents of the Battor Zomayi community in the North Tongu District Assembly of the Volta Region availed themselves of the exercise facilitated by a five-member team of the Foundation.
The team which included a health professional was led by the Founder of the Foundation, Ms Margaret Tekpor also advised the people on how to detect breast and prostate cancers.
She said the event was organised by the Foundation as part of activities to mark this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), which is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure.
Ms Tekpor explained that the rationale of sending breast and prostate cancer education to the community is to ensure that the message of breast and prostate cancer is evenly spread to the rural communities in the country.
“This is our first start. We are hoping to spread the message across the country if we get the support to do so”, she said.
Appeal for support
Ms Tekpor, therefore, appealed to corporate Ghana, philanthropic organisations and individuals to support the Foundation to create awareness about the two diseases which are claiming more lives in the country.
Breast cancer cases
According to the 2020 GLOBOCAN report, Ghana is estimated to record 4,645 (20.4%) new breast cancer cases which is more than double the estimated 2,062 new cases in 2012, with close to 50% of them dying; the high mortality rate is mainly due to late-stage presentation.
Most of the women affected with breast cancer are below the age of 50 in Ghana (58.2%). Breast cancer happens when cells in your breast grow and divide in an uncontrolled way, creating a mass of tissue called a tumour.
Touching on the signs of breast cancer Ms Magdaline Asirifi, a Midwife at the Cape Coast Metropolitan Hospital who is also an active member of the Maggie Wealthy Foundation, said the signs of breast cancer include feeling a lump in someone’s breast, experiencing a change in the size of the breast, and seeing changes to the skin on the breasts.
She added: “Mammograms, self-checks, and regular checks by health professionals can help with early detection. Early detection helps breast cancer patients to live long fulfilling lives while late-stage detection can be fatal”.
Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in the prostate. The prostate is a small walnut-shaped gland in males that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.
Prostate cancer affects about 60% of black men. The Ghana Cancer Control Strategy plan document revealed that 200 out of every 100,000 men in Ghana are suffering from this cancer.
While some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or even no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly. Prostate cancer that’s detected early, when it’s still confined to the prostate gland has the best chance for successful treatment.
Usually, there are no signs or symptoms in its early stages. However, more advanced cases can cause signs and symptoms such as trouble urinating, decreased force in the stream of urine, blood in the urine, blood in the semen, bone pain, losing weight without trying, and erectile dysfunction.
Many health professionals advise men to reduce their risks of prostate cancer by choosing a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and frequent medical checks to know their status.
At the end of the educative and insightful programme, over 300 females and males were impacted. Breast cancer screening was conducted on all females who participated in more than five hours of exercise. The Foundation also presented dozens of mensural sanitary pads to the Battor Zomayi Primary School for onward distribution to the pupils.
On behalf of the people, an Aspiring Assembly Member of the Battor Dave Electoral Area in the upcoming District Assemblies’ Election, Kudjordji Ernest thanked the Founder of the Maggie Wealthy Foundation, Ms Margaret Tekpor and her team for bringing the programme to the doorsteps of the people.
Source: African Eye Report