GHANA – The Republic of Ghana has launched a new breast cancer awareness campaign targeting men dubbed “MIAA THE BREAST” ahead of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
The breast cancer campaign aims to offer training to men on how to screen the breast to detect cancer lumps, address myths and misconceptions around the disease, and rally them to join advocacy on breast cancer to reduce the surge in the country.
It is being spearheaded by “BabyKaafo,” a mother and child advocacy initiative, in collaboration with Impact 360 International, a non-profit organization in a bid to eliminate the leading cancer in the world.
During the launch ceremony, General Surgeon at the Nyaho Medical Centre, Dr. Romeo Hussey expressed his concerns about the breast cancer prevalence in the country while noting that most cases being diagnosed in late stages.
“Early detection remains the cornerstone of breast cancer care because when detected early, there is a great chance for patients to be cured and survive the disease,” he said.
The General Surgeon observed that common factors influencing delayed diagnosis in oncology include low awareness, financial constraints, lack of access to timely, affordable and effective diagnosis and treatment.
“While advocacy in the breast cancer fight had evolved in the country, prompting government intervention to enroll some chemotherapy agents unto the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), a lot more could be done to support patients of breast cancer,” he noted.
Dr. Hussey urged the Ghanaian Government to include the diagnosis of breast cancer as part of services covered by the NHIS as it will go a long way to reduce the financial burden of treating the disease.
He acknowledged that the “MIAA THE BREAST” campaign was laudable and timely to further boost the breast cancer fight which he described as a shared responsibility.
“The idea of empowering men in this fight is laudable. It makes it a shared responsibility for men and their partners in ensuring that any changes in the breast which are suspicious are promptly investigated and a diagnosis made for the appropriate treatment to be given,” he said.
Dr Hussey further said that with increased advocacy, various interventions will be instituted nationally to improve early detection screening to save lives.
Meanwhile, a representative of the Ministry of Health, Dr Ignatius Awinibuno, expressed the commitment of the ministry to explore partnership and support advocacy like “MIAA THE BREAST” to reduce the breast cancer prevalence in the country.
“The need for behavioral change has become imperative to reducing the risk of the disease. It is an open secret that men are the second highest category of persons who handle the breast and therefore empowering them is a powerful weapon in the fight against breast cancer,” he added.
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