Health expert from the University of Ghana Medical Centre, Gifty Atampugbire, has heavily discerned that men are at risk of breast cancer.
She was speaking on Campus Exclusive whilst giving more enlightening details on breast cancer as a matter of great concern to human health.
With October being marked as a Breast Cancer Awareness Month in countries across the world, the celebration aims at raising awareness about breast cancer, promoting early detection, supporting those affected by the disease, and raising funds for research, prevention, and treatment.
Breast cancer remains one of the most common cancers globally; in Ghana, over 4,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer annually, with almost half of them unable to survive.
Studies show that women in Ghana are diagnosed at more advanced stages of the disease – up to 70% of women have advanced-stage cancer by the time it is identified. This is a result of the lack of awareness and education, as well as common myths and misconceptions.
But some of these misconceptions and lack of awareness applies to men as well, as breast cancer has been commonly linked to women due to their breast tissues. Experts have debunked the myth, explaining that though men may have lower chances of being affected, men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer, with the situation being worse off in men.
“Yearly, about one per-cent of males are affected by breast cancer. Although uncommon, this cancer spreads faster in men than in women,” Mrs. Atampugbire mentioned.
She encouraged women to avoid ignoring changes in their breasts making regular checks instead of waiting for the breast cancer awareness month.
“People, especially our ladies should feel free to walk into any public health facility in any month to do regular checks rather than waiting for the awareness month. These frequent checks will help in early detection and quick treatment.”
“Ladies should go for these checks after their period to prevent mistaking various changes that happen during the menstrual period as signs of breast cancer,” she added.
Mrs. Atampugbire also mentioned that women who give birth at an older age are at higher risk of the cancer as compared to those who give birth earlier.
“Women who start giving birth after age thirty-five are at risk of getting breast cancer because the body at that stage is undergoing various hormonal changes and preparing you for menopause.”
“Casual sucking of the breast does not necessarily reduce one’s chances of getting breast cancer rather it is breastfeeding that reduces it,” she added.
According to her, the myth that sucking breasts would reduce the possibility of breast cancer is false. Rather, breastfeeding is the best way to avoid the cancer.
She concluded by reiterating that women should constantly get check-ups on their breasts, also suggesting self- examination as an option.
Story by: Michelle Lartey | univers.ug.edu.gh