More than 500 residents of Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis at the weekend participated in a breast cancer awareness health walk to sensitise Ghanaians on the dangers of the disease.
The event which was organised by Breast Care International, a non-governmental organisation, brought together hundreds of people from all walks of life.
The participants took part in a 17-kilometre walk from the Takoradi Jubilee Park through the principal streets of Sekondi-Takoradi and ended up at the Essipon Sports Stadium.
The campaign christened: “Ghana, Walk for the Cure, 2015,” targeted the youth to undertake regular breast cancer screening and diagnostic test for early treatment.
Dr Mrs Beatrice Wiafe Addai, the Founder and President of Breast Care International (BCI), speaking on the topic:”Fighting for a breast cancer free future for our children,” said breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of deaths among women globally.
She, therefore, called for concerted efforts by stakeholders including, chiefs, teachers, the media, health workers, members of parliament, opinion leaders, the clergy and all well-meaning Ghanaians, to join forces to campaign against the disease in order to save precious lives.
Dr Wiafe Addai noted that the cause of the disease is unknown, but people who consume excessive alcohol, fatty food, smoking cigarette and sedentary lifestyle and family history of the disease are more likely to be infected.
She therefore charged Ghanaians to undertake regular check-ups, exercise frequently and reduce alcohol and fat intake.
Dr Wiafe Addai, a surgeon, pointed out that breast cancer is highly treatable and curable if diagnosed early, and entreated both men and women to take proactive measures to stay alive to support the development of the country.
The BCI started the nationwide campaign against breast cancer in 2011, and had since been to Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Greater Accra regions, educating Ghanaians on the dangers of the disease.
The World Health Organisation statistic shows that nearly 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in 2012, and a further 522,000 deaths occurred around the world while in Ghana, 2,260 women were diagnosed with the disease in that same year.
In addition, it is estimated that in every 19 seconds, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer somewhere in the world while a woman dies from the disease in every 69 seconds.
The Western Regional Director of Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr Emmanuel Affraim, pledged the support of the GES towards combating breast cancer among children of school-going age.
He urged students and staff of GES to cooperate and support BCI to sensitise the public on the dangers of the disease.
Students from second cycle educational institutions who participated in a quiz competition on breast cancer were presented with books and other stationery.
A breast cancer screening was organised for the public to know their status on the disease amidst playing of music that enlivened the atmosphere. GNA