PsycCare Consult organizes community breast cancer screening exercise at Ashiyie
Accra, Nov. 07, GNA- PsycCare Consult, an organisation championing women’s health advocacy and providing psychological support, has organised free breast cancer screening exercise for residents of Ashiyie near Accra.
The screening exercise, organised by PsycCare Consult in collaboration with the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), Heavens Gate Temple, Ashiyie, was preceded by pre-screening counselling and breast cancer education as part of efforts to raise awareness on the disease.
Beneficiaries were prompted to take note of signs like “Lumps, hard knot or thickening; swelling, warmth, redness or darkening; change in the size or shape; changes in the skin; itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple; pulling in of the nipple or other parts; unusual nipple discharge; and new pain in one spot that does not go away”.
Dr Yvonne Otubea Otchere, a consulting psychologist and Chief Executive Officer of PsycCare Consult, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency during the screening exercise, said breast cancer was curable and that early detection was key.
She said for this year, they had driven the men’s breast cancer at risk advocacy because the traditional campaigns had centred on women, hence, the need to draw some awareness with regards to men as well.
« There are huge psychological barriers associated with awareness creation, she noted. Stigma continues to thrive and breast cancer is commonly viewed as a feminine disease, she noted.
This year, we have also reoriented our men on the relevance of the breasts, » she said.
« The breast is a symbol of life, she noted. A woman is expected to breastfeed her baby during the first two to three years of life! No breasts, no life and the men must understand this and support the campaign by getting screened and encourage the family unit to get screened. »
Dr Otchere noted that “Detection, Treatment and Defeating Breast Cancer”, was this year’s theme, saying, they believed that in detecting breast cancer everyone should be involved.
She explained called for mainstream treatment for people who may find lumps in their breast to go for surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and receive counselling and support to have these medical procedures.
She noted that the role of spiritual healing was important as God’s word was health bringing health to the soul.
She said breast cancer patients were not ‘demonized’; thus, the adoption of exorcism by religious organisations as a treatment for breast cancer patients and that had contributed to the late presentation at the health facility contributing to the deaths of breast cancer patients.
Dr Otchere said with regards to the third preamble being ‘defeating’, they believed that defeating breast cancer was a mental and a behavioural process and people must get the consciousness that there were viable support systems around to help them even when a lump is detected.
Madam Charlotte Brobbey, a Senior Nursing Officer at the Surgical Department of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, also told the GNA that, the screening saw some beneficiaries with lumps in their breasts, and others had fluids in their breast, however, majority of the people screened had no issues.