The University of Ghana Business School organized a Women Empowerment Summit with the theme “Unleashing Her Power: Empowering Women For Change” to inspire and uplift young girls.
The event was organised on 20th October, 2023 at the Raphael Slyvanus(R.S) Amegashie auditorium in the University of Ghana, with appearances from the UG’s Student Representative Council’s (SRC) General Secretary, Martha Bruwaa.
In recognition of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month, health officials also were invited to the summit to give more indepth knowledge among the young girls on breast cancer during the session.
Medical Doctor, Dr. Vanessa Mensah-Kabu, who is also the President of Eve International outlined the risk factors associated with breast cancer.
She mentioned that there are two grouped risk factors associated with breast cancer; one being modifiable and the other unmodifiable.
“We grouped the risk factor into two, that is modifiable risk factor and the unmodifiable risk factor. So the modifiable risk factor are those that you can do something about it as an individual to help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer whereas the unmodifiable risk factor are the ones we actually cannot do anything about it.”
“So the unmodifiable risk factor is female gender, so being born female already increases your risk of getting breast cancer. Having a positive family history of breast cancer increases your risk of developing breast cancer.”
Whilst giving further details on the risk factors, she included age and genetics some of the factors in increasing
“Age is something you can’t do anything about. Increasing age increases your risk of developing breast cancer. [Another] unmodifiable risk factor is basically your genetics, there is nothing you cannot do about your genetics, it is what you are born with so that is something you can’t do about it.”
She continued by teaching the girls ways they can reduce their livelihoods of getting breast cancer through some healthy habits.
“Now to the good news, there are certain factor you can actually do about it, that is modifiable risk factor which includes obesity. Another modifiable risk factor is smoking and alcohol intake. Basically a lifestyle modification which include exercise, not taking alcohol. Even if you are drinking alcohol, you might reduce the amount of alcohol or quit as well as smoking.”
Dr. Mensah-Kabu further explained treatment options associated with breast cancer.
“With breast cancer or just like any cancer it depends on the stage. So you can have chemotherapy, radiotherapy. Sometimes you can have the two and you will have the lump removed; that is very important because once the lump is still kept there it will only grow and then it will move to other parts of the body.”
On creating more awareness and support for all who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, she highlighted the importance on discussing the issue to achieve the aforementioned goals.
“We are keen in support. It is important to support people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and also aware patients to speak about it. If you don’t speak how would you know? We have gotten to the stage where we actually speak more about than 15 years ago.”
Story by: Jennifer Loman | univers.ug.edu.gh