Breast Cancer

October has been set aside worldwide as the breast cancer awareness month to inform women on the need to have a breast scan for early detection and treatment.

Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries and this 31 days of awareness creation helps to bring women’s attention on the need to go for breast screening or self-examination at least once.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) said about 1.38 million new cases and 458,000 deaths are recorded from breast cancer each year.

It said in low and middle-income countries the incidence had been rising steadily in the last years due to increase in life expectancy, urbanization and adoption of western lifestyles.

Currently there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer, therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of control and treatment.

When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that it could be cured.

If detected late, however, curative treatment is often no longer an option. In such cases, palliative care to relieve the suffering of patients and their families is needed.

In Ghana to bring people, especially women’s attention to the disease, a lot of activities are embarked on by non-governmental organisations, groups, institutions and health facilities to acknowledge the fight against breast cancer.

Activities such as breast health walk, breast cancer screening, wearing pink to symbolise the importance of the month, and sensitisation programmes are undertaken.

The WHO has advised women to take advantage of the month and get their breasts examined for early treatment when diagnosed.


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