It is very important for men to also take breast screening seriously as breast cancer could affect them.
Though rare, breast cancer affects men too because they also have breast tissues which could turn into cancer and have devastating implications on their health.
To this end, Ms Wilhemina Minnow, Founder of Rumibeth Foundation, a health focused NGO, who made the assertion in an interview with the Ghanaian Times on Sunday implored men to also make it a priority to occasionally undergo screening of their breasts for the early detection of any abnormality.
She explained that one per cent of all breast cancer cases occurred in men, stressing that it should not be a reason why men should “feel too comfortable and never have themselves checked.”
Explaining, Ms Minnow, who is also a health practitioner indicated that obesity, genes and family history contributed to breast cancer in men.
“Inheriting faulty versions of genes called BRCA1 or BRCA2, among other risks factors, increases a man’s risk of breast cancer therefore it is very important that all persons, irrespective of their gender, take breast cancer screening seriously,” she added.
According to her, lifestyle also played a role in acquiring certain chronic diseases like breast cancer and therefore advised that incorporating an exercise routine in all activities was necessary to reduce breast cancer risks.
Apart from exercising to promote good health, eating well balanced diets and reducing the intake of food filled with unhealthy calories and sugars must be encouraged.
Symptoms of breast cancer in men, she said included lump in breast, swelling, nipple that turns inward, fluid leaking from the nipple discharge that may be bloody, pain or pulling sensation in the breast and changes such as redness of the breast.
In furtherance, Ms Minnow called on government and all well meaning Ghanaians, including NGOs to intensify breast cancer awareness among men in Ghana, as most men usually ignored lumps in their breast, thinking it could never be cancer.
She also called for more research into breast cancer in Ghana, adding that such moves contributed significantly to the proper management of the disease.
Using a preventive approach to fight breast cancer in Ghana, she said could significantly reduce the burden of the disease on the country’s limited resources at the various health facilities.
“When we use a preventive approach to reduce incidences of diseases like breast cancer, it could go a long way in reducing the burden on our health system.”
“A simple approach like making people aware that a lump could mean cancer will prevent many from ignoring lumps on any part of their bodies, not just the breast. Also if we make them aware of lifestyle choices that could make them sick, some people will take the education seriously and advise themselves accordingly,” Ms Minnow stressed.
She urged male sufferers of breast cancer to continue with their treatment while maintaining the hope that they would survive.