Include breast cancer screening and treatment in NHIS – Health Expert

Dr. Victoria Partey Newman, Doctor-in-Charge of the Well Woman Clinic at the Trust Hospital

Dr. Victoria Partey Newman, Doctor-in-Charge of the Well Woman Clinic at the Trust Hospital has called on government to incorporate breast cancer screening and treatment in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to save lives upon early detection of the cancer.

‘’Breast cancer treatment is very expensive and the average Ghanaian women including corporate women cannot afford it holistically. We are calling on government to add it to the regiment of the NHIS to cover some percentage of the cost of screening and treatment,’’ she appealed.

Dr. Partey in an interview with Goldstreet Business in Accra said many women as well as men are dying of breast cancer due to the late detection of the cancer.

Alarming statistics

She identified some risk factors such as age and genetic mutations as the cause of breast cancer related cases adding that some 3,000 cases of breast cancer are reported yearly in Ghana and out of the number, the prevalence rate of women between 40 to 49 years is rising.

‘’Now we are seeing cases of about 25 to 29 years among women and the age bracket is reducing because of westernization, modernisation and sedentary lifestyles,’’ Dr Partey added.

She revealed that the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra records some 400 breast cancer related cases annually, adding, out of that number, 2.4 percent are males which meant that 10 out of 400 males have breast cancer.

‘’In Korle-Bu they noticed that 60 to 70 percent come in advance stages where nothing can be done for them and that is quite worrying,’’ she lamented.

Globally, women with breast cancer cases represent 1.67 million annually with one percent representing males. Advanced and metastatic breast cancer is currently incurable, but treatable, with a median survival rate of 2-3 years.

Dr. Partey encouraged women and men to practice healthy lifestyles and visit the hospital regularly to screen and check for possible cancer detection and treatment.

Pink October Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Well Woman Clinic under the Trust Hospital on Monday, October 1 launched the 2018 edition of the Pink October Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Accra with the aim of engaging and screening women for early detection breast cancer related issues.

Dr. Francis Ahiaku, Acting General Manager of the Trust Hospital reiterated the hospital’s commitment to helping women diagnosed with breast cancer related issues and called on them to regularly visit the hospital for check-ups and early detection.

This year, the Pink October Breast Cancer Awareness campaign will focus on the Tema General Market, Republic Bank Ghana and other institutions.

The theme for this years event which is; ‘Care Beyond October’ will see the healthcare provider follow up on its present and previous clients, provide health assistance and social support to persons who have been diagnosed with breast cancer related issues.

By Mawuli Y. Ahorlumegah