Over a million cases of breast cancer are recorded globally and more than half of them die from it. Due to this, the world has set aside this month to create awareness on breast cancer and the need for early detection.
Nearly 70 percent of women in Ghana are diagnosed with breast cancer in the latter stages and this makes chances of survival very slim to none.
To champion this cause, Citi News’ Caleb Kudah tells the experience of Dansowaa, a 32-year old woman who was misdiagnosed of the disease for a year.
“I was misdiagnosed for a year treating stomach ulcer when what was killing me was breast cancer,” she recalls.
She stated that she always had lumps in her breast and thought it was a normal thing till it started lumping up and at first the lump was moving but became stagnant after sometime.
She added that through it all she was taking stomach ulcer pills and was not getting better after she visited another hospital and then realised she had developed breast cancer in its chronic stages.
“One doctor suggested I do a CT scan in January 2017 and after deciding to do it in March, i slipped and fell. Weeks later i couldn’t move and i lost my ability to talk as well,” she said.
After being admitted at the military hospital for two weeks, she went through biopsy and several tests that confirmed she had the disease that had reached the bone and liver.
“I was in denial until I met the consultant days later to confirm it. So after counselling, I had to go for chemo, I was in pain,” she said
Unfortunately, although her speech had returned she just couldn’t think straight, she couldn’t process anything and was just blank. She didn’t know if it was shock or the pain she was going through.
“On a scale of one to ten, my pain level was at a thousand. You can’t really explain it because it’s in the bone, but you could feel it around the flesh. I felt everything within me, all my organs were in pain.
By then there was no medication because I had to go off everything to start chemo because now they knew what was wrong with me. So it was just chemo and radiotherapy,” she added.
Life after Diagnosis
She said that her walking pace has reduced due to the pain she still feel even after the tumors have been reduced.
I cant do much walking because i am always in pain and i cant engage in much activity like before. So i know medically, i am not going to get a cure and i am going to live with it until the end.
Dansowaa has been receiving patient support and counseling from an NGO called Cancer Connect.
Country lead, Gloria Yankson spoke about some of the risk factors that expose women to breast cancer and advocates for regular self-examination.