The Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Redemption Congregation in Tema Community Nine, has taken a proactive step towards community health by organizing a free health screening event, coupled with an emphasis on the early detection of breast cancer.
Dr. Ekuban underscored the importance of screening and early detection, noting that they are crucial for improving survival rates among breast cancer patients.
In his address, Dr. Ekuban pointed to evidence from the United States demonstrating the positive impact of early detection on breast cancer survival rates.
He encouraged women to perform monthly self-examinations to check for lumps, abnormal growth, changes in nipple shape, decoloration of the areola, or nipple discharge.
Any such changes should be promptly reported to the hospital for a breast scan or mammogram to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment.
Dr. Ekuban expressed concern about the fact that in Ghana, half of breast cancer patients seek medical attention when the disease has already advanced and spread. This contributes to low survival rates in such cases.
Late intervention can cause cancer to metastasize to other parts of the body, leading to seizures, pain, and potential fatality.
Dr. Ekuban also highlighted several risk factors for breast cancer, including family history (especially in first-degree relatives), early onset of menstruation, and late menopause.
He explained that early initiation of menstruation and late menopause would result in heightened estrogen levels, increasing the risk of breast cancer.
Furthermore, he emphasized that delayed childbirth, particularly after the age of 30, also increased the risk. He mentioned that the more pregnancies a woman had, the lower her chances of developing breast cancer.
Dr. Ekuban announced that the International Maritime Hospital was providing free breast screening and offering discounted scans and mammograms during this month, encouraging the public to avail themselves of these services.
Mr. John Ahadzie, the blood organizer at the Tema General Hospital, emphasized the importance of voluntary blood donation to ensure a sufficient blood supply in anticipation of emergencies.
He noted that individuals aged 17 and above, weighing 50 kilograms or more, could donate blood after a health screening. Donors should also have hemoglobin levels of 12 or 13 and above, respectively, for females and males.
Before donating, he recommended that donors consume fluids, eat, and abstain from alcohol or spirits.
Mrs. Gladys Amponsah Nyarko, President of the Young Adult Fellowship (YAF) at the church, explained that the group aimed to make breast screening more accessible to congregants.
Many churchgoers have busy work schedules, making it difficult for them to visit hospitals for screenings. She stressed the importance of addressing both the spiritual and physical needs of the community.
Additionally, Mrs. Nyarko mentioned the church's annual blood donation collaboration with the Tema General Hospital, reflecting their commitment to supporting healthcare in the region.