The Ministry of Health has developed a national strategy for cancer control which will be implemented over the next five years.
In a speech read on her behalf at the relaunch of Reach for Recovery Ghana (RRG), a support and counselling group for women with cancers, the First Lady, Mrs Lordina Mahama said the strategy will help to prevent and control cancer cases in the country.
She said the burden of cancer in the country was projected to increase due to aging, rapid urbanisation and unhealthy lifestyles.
She said breast cancer formed 15 per cent of all cancers and 40 per cent of female cancers in the country.
The Head of Surgery and Surgical Department of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Professor Joe Nat Clegg-Lamptey said 60 to 75 per cent of breast cancer patients were presenting late due to their reliance on alternative sources of treatment which most often did not work.
Prof. Lamptey, therefore, called for more education on the need for people to ensure that they reported promptly for treatment.
According to him, when cases are not presented as early as possible, they become incurable.
Giving an overview on cervical and ovarian cancer, an oncologist at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), Dr Verna Vanderpuye said 70 per cent of all cervical cancer cases were presented at their advanced stages, saying it was the third cause of cancer deaths in women.
She believed there was the need to educate more people on the disease, as ovarian cancer continues to rank fifth in cancer deaths among women.
October every year is observed over the world as Pink October or breast cancer awareness month and this year’s theme was, “Education: Ending breast cancer forever”.
In Ghana, breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women.
A study in 2012 showed that an estimated 2,478 new cases of breast cancer would be diagnosed in Ghana yearly. Out of the number, the study estimated that 1,110 deaths would be recorded annually.