A study, conducted by the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and Peace and Love Hospital, has cautioned women, in particular, to desit from skin bleaching which is a high risk factor to breast cancer.
The “Breast Self Study” research which was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI)of the United States of America (USA), established that lightening creams, used in skin bleaching, were a new risk factor to breast cancer in women.
President of Breast Care International (BCI, Dr. Beatrice Wiafi-Addai, disclosed these to the Spectator during an engagement with the students of the Kwadaso Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Nursing and Midwifery Taining College, Barekese campus, as part of a breast cancer awareness outreach programme.
Under the theme, “Kick Breast Cancer Out”, the educational engagement formed part of a Delta Airlines’ monthly programme in collaboration with BCI to create breast cancer awareness in churches, institutions and schools among others.
She explained that the research did not go specifically into the various components of the creams “but we realised that some of the creams contained mercury and more worrying is also the risk of getting gynaecological cancer”.
The cause of breast cancer, she said, “is still not known”, but some traits have been identified as risk factors.”
“What we also observed from the study was that, skin lightening cream was one of the risk factors in women contracting breast cancer”.
Modern bleaching, Dr. Wiafe-Addai observed had moved from the use of only cream to using pills and injection.
“And, these come with negative effects on the body and increase the risk of getting the cancer. It is important young women refrain from any form of skin bleaching”, she underscored.
Earlier, Dr. Wiafe-Addai also the Chairperson of the Ghana Non Communicable Diseases Alliance (GhNCDA) indicated that, according to studies, 4,650 women were diagnosed with breast cancer annually in Ghana.
And out of the number 2,060 die annually, adding that of the non-communicable diseases, breast cancer was the number one killer in the country.
Dr. Wiafe-Addai, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Peace and Love Hospital tasked women to be conscious of their health and embark on regular breast checks.
She advised women to stay away from fatty food, smoking of cigarette and shisha stressing the fact that “a puff of shisha equals the smoking of 10 sticks of cigarette”.
Debunking the notion that breast cancer had anything to do with witchcraft, she said the disease was curable and called for frequent breast examination as early detection would save many souls.