Cancer said to be fourth cause of deaths in Ghana

Professor Joe-Nat Clegg-Lamptey, Head of the Department of Surgery, Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, says cancer is the fourth cause of deaths among Ghanaians.

He said the increasing number of cancer cases, especially breast cancer in the country was very alarming and called on Government and other institutions to support the  anti- cancer cause.

Prof. Clegg-Lamptey was speaking at a media conference organized by the Sweden Ghana Medical Centre (SGMC) to address the situation at Aburi in the Eastern Region on Saturday.

He said the causative factors for the increase in the prevalence of the disease was lack of knowledge, late detection and diagnosis, delayed in treatment procedures, negative socio-cultural beliefs and lack of funds for treatment.

Prof Clegg-Lamptey said though management was available in Ghana and covered partially under the National Health Insurance Scheme, there were limited facilities to deal with the increasing number of cases in the country.

He said it was important for medical health professionals to continue to educate the Ghanaian public and extend the coverage of breast cancer management to the rest of the country.

Dr Verna Vanderpuye, Oncologist Consultant at the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital, said Cervical, Breast and Prostrate cancers were the major cause of deaths in the country.

She said a cervical cancer dominated cancers diagnose in women  and was had a high rate of prevalence.

Dr Vanderpuye revealed that women who experienced early sex and women with multiple sex partners were at risk of having cervical cancer.

She said there was the need for Government to support the treatment of child cancer patients called for appropriate guidelines for cancer treatment.

Dr Olof Stahl, Medical Oncologist at SGMC, said the centre was facing serious challenges such as financial and medical staff, adding,

“Patients who visit the facility all need financial support for treatment.”

He said cancer was gradually assuming the lead as the number one killer disease, yet it had received a very minimal publicity and called on Government to recognise the treatment of cancer as its top most priority.

Mrs Gladys Boateng, a survivor of breast cancer and Chief Executive Officer of Reach for Recovery (RFR), Ghana, shared her experience and challenges such as financial and human resource because of the fear of stigma.

She said,  ‘I am happy to report that the organization has attained both national and international recognition.”

The SGMC has incorporated Sweden Ghana Cancer Foundation in June 2012 with the objective of providing financial support to Ghanaian cancer patients who cannot afford cost of treatment and aims at educating the public on early detection of cancer to enhance effective treatment.

Source: GNA

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