The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Opoku-Ahweneeh Danquah, says efforts to reduce the prevalence of death caused by breast cancer should not be left to only women as GNPC, through the Petroleum Ladies Association (PELA), rolls out its Breast Cancer Awareness campaign month also known as “Pinktober”.
According to O-A Danquah, Breast cancer remains a critical health concern for Ghana as the lack of education and awareness amongst mostly young women after puberty leaves abnormalities undetected and unchecked leading to death and further depletion of the country’s young productive female resources.
Although the female gender is the strongest breast cancer risk factor, the World Health Organization (WHO) approximates that 0.5–1% of breast cancers occur in men. This is a fact the GNPC boss believes should further motivate men to take up the fight.
“While women are the most directly diagnosed by it, men are also at risk. Indeed, the consequences affect entire communities, families and households. This is why women should not be the only ones at the forefront of it. We must all educate ourselves on the signs and symptoms of the disease and act as agents of change by helping spread awareness for all to understand and embrace the importance of early detection and treatment before any cancer becomes fatal.”
Breast cancer, being the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women globally, accounts for 12.5% of all new annual cancer cases worldwide, making it the most prevalent cancer in the world with approximately 50% in developing countries like Ghana.
The WHO reports that there were 2.3 million women diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, with about 685,000 deaths recorded that year globally.
In October every year, GNPC’s PELA joins the global community in raising the ‘pink ribbon’ to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It has lined up a month-long campaign with activities aimed at educating staff of the Corporation and the public about the importance of early screening, early detection and offering support for those affected.
This, according to GNPC’s CEO, is in keeping with the Corporation’s commitment to promoting health amongst its staff as well as the public considering reports of too many Ghanaian women having advanced breast cancer at diagnosis.
“With this year’s global theme, Thrive365, it’s become imperative to reaffirm our collective commitment to drum home the fact that people affected by breast cancer can not only survive but thrive in their daily lives.”
He encouraged everyone including fathers, husbands, brothers, sons, healthcare providers and all stakeholders to unite with women and actively participate in creating breast cancer awareness.
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