The Founder of Breast Care International (BCI), Dr Beatrice Addae Wiafe, has advised the citizenry, particularly young women, to desist from taking alcohol excessively, smoking shisha and applying bleaching agents on their skin as they are some of the risk factors of breast cancer. At a rally after the BCI breast cancer walk in Accra last Saturday, Dr Wiafe stated that although there were no known causes of breast cancer, there were some risk factors that could lead one to contracting the disease and therefore, advised both men and women to live healthy lives and avoid those risk factors.
“Previously, Ghanaian women were not into this smoking of shisha but now we have a lot of women smoking, especially our young women. One puff of shisha equals 10 rolls of cigarettes and if care is not taken, we would have a lot more of our women dealing with all sorts of cancers”. “Lack of exercise and lately the chemicals that some women bleach with have all been found as risk factors,” she added.
Dr Wiafe, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Peace and Love Hospital, further urged all to make breast cancer awareness a priority because the disease was not just a woman’s issue but had steadily become a developmental and economic issue. “It is alarming if most of our productive women are dying or are being lost to breast cancer and most of these women die and leave their children which also becomes another issue on its own. And so breast cancer is not just a woman’s issue but a subject that should be of concern to all,” she said.
The BCI walk, organised to create awareness on breast cancer was dubbed “BCI Ghana Walk for the Cure 2023”. It was on the theme: “Breaking Myth, Fighting Cure”. The walk and rally brought together some survivors of breast cancer as well as stakeholders and advocates of breast cancer to create awareness of the disease and educate all on the need for regular screening and early and prompt detection.
The Chief of the Igbos in Ghana, Dr Chukwudi Jude Ihenetu, urged friends and family of breast cancer patients not to neglect them during the treatment process but to encourage them and give them all the love and support that they would need. He further encouraged opinion leaders, especially men of God, to encourage their congregations to visit the nearest health facility when they notice or see any changes in their breasts and help break all myths and stereotypes about the disease.