Increase cancer awareness in rural areas – Survivor

Increase cancer awareness in rural areas – Survivor

Ms Sambou interacting withsome women in Nyanyano

A breast cancer survivor, Ms Raissa Sambou has called on stakeholders in the health sector to in­crease cancer awareness in rural areas of the country.

She said many rural dwell­ers find it difficult to access cancer care while some die as a result.

Ms Sambou said this in an interview with The Spec­tator after embarking on a door-to-door cervical and breast cancer awareness campaign in Nyanyano in the Gomoa-East District of the Central Region last week.

She said “women in rural areas do not get the right diagnosis from the Commu­nity-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) com­pounds in the communities due to lack of medical equipment and healthcare givers who have received training on cancers and major symptoms.”

Based on her personal journey with breast cancer, she warned women about the dangers of ignoring warning signs and empha­sised the critical importance of regular screenings.

Ms Sambou who is also the Founder of The Raissa Child Protection Initiative, a non-governmental organi­sation said “I am particular about dispelling misconcep­tions surrounding cancer in Ghana especially in our rural areas.

With thousands of women succumbing to breast and cervical cancer annually in Ghana, she expressed concern over the lack of education on these diseases, particularly in rural Ghana.

She urged the government to implement policies that would enhance access to screening and treatment centers, stressing the need for a preventive approach to reduce cancer incidences in the country.

During her conversations with the women, she high­lighted the profound con­nection between women’s health and their ability to care for their children.

She stressed that by prioritising their well-being, women could better ensure the welfare of their fami­lies.

Some signs of breast cancer, she said, included breast lump or thickening often without pain, change in nipple appearance and abnormal or bloody fluid from the nipple

For cervical cancer, she explained, that some of the symptoms were pelvis pain, irregular menstruation, pain during sexual intercourse and abnormal vagina dis­charge among others.

She urged Ghanaians to stop stigmatising cancer survivors which makes it dif­ficult for survivors to come out and share their stories.

By Jemima Esinam Kuatsinu

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