Breast Health

Breast Self Examination (BSE) once a month
Clinical examination every 4 years after age 20
Mammogram for all women with average risk every year
after age 45 or earlier if indicated by your doctor
Talk to your doctor immediately if you detect any change

Quick Facts

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide and the second-most common cancer overall.Breast Cancer is 98% treatable if detected early.The 5-year survival of breast cancer in Ghana is less than 25%, compared with over 70% in Western Europe and North America.60% of Ghanaian patients report with either stage 3 or 4 of the disease.Late stage breast cancer detection in all of Africa is attributed to the negative social stigma of the disease in society, lack of awareness in developing countries, and access to health services. Studies in Ghana show that fear of the disease is linked to death in most cases, denial and guilt, as well as supernatural attributes.

Risk Factors

Many factors are linked to breast cancer risk. Some risk factors you can’t change, while you may be able to control others. Understanding which factors may affect your risk can help you work with your health care provider to address any concerns you may have and develop a breast cancer screening plan that is right for you.

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Warning Signs

The warning signs of breast cancer are not the same for all women. The most common signs are a change in the look or feel of the breast, a change in the look or feel of the nipple and nipple discharge.

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Healthy Choices

Healthy lifestyle choices may help lower your risk of different types of cancer and other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.Although not all the behaviors listed below lower the risk of breast cancer, they are good for overall health.

Everyone should aim to:

  • Give yourself a breast exam each month – click to our guides in English, Twi, Nzema and Ga [hyperlink to RFCA Ghana BSE flyer in English, Twi, Nzema and Ga].
  • Be physically active (get regular exercise).
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat at least 2 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Choose 100 percent whole grain foods
  • Limit red meat and processed meat. Choose chicken, fish or beans more often.
  • Limit “bad” fats (saturated and trans fats). These are found in foods such as red meat, poultry skin, full fat dairy, fried foods, margarine, donuts and microwave popcorn.
  • Eat “good” fats (polyunsaturated and mono unsaturated fats). These are found in foods such as olive and canola oil, nuts and natural nut butters, avocado and olives.
  • Limit alcohol intake to less than one drink a day

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If you or someone you know needs help with screening or treatment, contact us