Front view Tamale Teaching hospital
Breast cancer patients and related cases in the Northern region have been compelled to travel to the South to get access to a mammography machine due to the lack of the machine in the region.
The patients in the region are forced to cough out outrageous amounts of money due to the expensive nature of traveling from the North to the South to get access to a mammography machine.
The Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) which is the referral facility in the five regions of the North does not have a mammography machine for the treatment of cancer patients in the region.
An Oncology Specialist at the TTH, Madam Evelyn Osei, has expressed worry about the lack of a mammography machine in the region adding that the lack of the machine affects the efforts to fight against cancer.
“ We still do not have a mammogram machine in the region and this is worrying because our women who are above 40 years and within the region when they come to us we still refer them to Accra or Kumasi just to go and take a mammogram and come back with the report.”
According to her, the mammogram machine helps to diagnose cancer or tumor no matter how small it is.
“ In advanced countries, their slogan is getting your mammogram done. Sometimes even when we use our hands to the screen we miss it but the mammogram will pick it up so it is a mandatory diagnostic tool for cancers.”
She revealed that the World Health Organization (WHO) stands diagnostic tool for breast cancer for every woman above the age of 40 years is the mammogram machine.
Madam Osei however debunked the claim that sucking a woman’s breast can prevent breast cancer.
“When a man sucks a woman’s breast it does not contribute to the risk of decreasing breast cancer. The one person who will suck your breast and prevent or reduce your risk of developing breast cancer is the baby because when the baby sucks the hormones that can prevent you from getting breast cancer increase in your body so the baby prevents or reduces the mother’s risk of breast cancer and not the man.”
A breast cancer patient, Zore Fata encouraged women especially to ensure that they regularly go for breast cancer check-ups and that it is preventable when detected early.
“ Breast cancer is not a death sentence because I have made it out of it and so you can equally make it as well especially when you detected it early and you go through all the treatment stages everything will be fine.”
She however appealed to the government and other organizations to come to the aid of cancer patients in the region and provide health facilities with mammography machines.
FROM Eric Kombat, Tamale