Don’t abandon Breast Cancer Victims – Survivor pleads

A breast cancer survivor, Madam Mary Duodu, has urged the public, especially families, not to abandon breast cancer victims but rather encourage them to seek early treatment by showing them love and care.

Madam Duodu said early detection, support of family and friends, and proper treatment could help breast cancer victims to survive the disease and therefore called for a change in public attitude towards victims.

Recounting her story at a grand durbar organised by AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem Mine to climax activities on its breast cancer awareness month, Madam Duodu attributed her ability to undergo successful chemotherapy treatment to the love and support she enjoyed from her family, especially her husband.

"Unlike most victims, I have been very lucky to have a supportive family who stood by me every step of the way," she said. "I know most husbands have left their wives as a result of breast cancer, but my husband even gave me the encouragement to share my story with you today."

She disclosed that even though she had occasionally undertaken self-breast examination, it was never detected she had lumps in her breast until September 2016 when she noticed a change in her breast and was encouraged by her family to see a specialist for examination.

She said upon several tests and visits to various health facilities, she had the shock of her life when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Madam Duodu, therefore, encouraged all breast cancer victims to seek early detection and treatment as she did to increase their chances of survival.

Dr Bettina Boohene-Andah, Medical Director of the Kalbert Clinic, speaking at the durbar, called on companies to extend employee medical examination to cover breast cancer screening and urged the Ghana Health Service to adopt a holistic approach to breast cancer awareness campaign by expanding the scope to cover children at the basic school level.

Juliet Manteaw-Kutin, Head, Legal and Corporate Affairs for AngloGold Ashanti (Ghana) Limited, whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and survived for 17 years, also shared her experience and advocated support and after care services for victims.

The AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem Mine 2019 Breast Cancer Awareness Month was commemorated on the theme: "Tell Breast Cancer to Step Aside" and was organised in collaboration with the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Services and Hope for All Foundation, a non-governmental organisation.

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