The breast is an essential part of a woman’s body. Its use and importance is not limited to only the bearer, the woman, but also to the society at large. A publication by National Centre for Biotechnological Information (NCBI) describes the breast as, “the most important external identification of femininity…” You could thus imagine the importance women attach to a part of their body that is of such great importance to them.
Apart from the breast’s physical function to humanity, it also symbolises completeness and patience. Its completeness is seen in the nutritious food it provides its young ones. No food is as nutritious and hygienic as the milk produced by the breast, and its uniqueness cannot be replicated in any form. In essence, the whole world is built on a foundation of complete nutrition, courtesy of the breast. Again the breast teaches patience and orderliness in its developmental stages. It takes time to develop in size and shape, and has its own time to produce milk. These are two important values that the world needs – complete health for the world and patience in achieving its growth needs.
It has become necessary to blow a bigger trumpet on the need to save the lives of women because of the startling statistics regarding the rate at which the menace of Breast Cancer is threatening the lives of women. Not only that but also the fact that it is having negative impact on the psychology of women. A news item on Newsghana.com.gh, published November 5, 2015, indicates that “1,110 Ghanaian women die each year as a result of breast cancer.”
Also, a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO), and published by Ghanabusinessnews.com, reveals that, “a total of 2,000 Ghanaian women were diagnosed of breast cancer in the year 2012”; and out of this number, “1,000 of the figure, representing 50 per cent of the cases died.” WHO reveals further that out of “1.7 million women who were diagnosed of the disease worldwide, “500,000, representing 28 per cent died.”
In respect of the psychological effect of the menace on women, a publication by NCBI avers that “the loss of a breast can have devastating psychological effects on a woman.” The publication continues, “A woman who has lost a breast through cancer may feel self-conscious, insecure, inferior to other women, or undesirable to men.” This is the depth of psychological trauma that women experience when they suffer breast cancer.
It is the dream of every girl to grow, having her breast properly positioned to the serve purpose for which it was created. Thus, anything that seems to put this dream in jeopardy puts our women in a devastating state. And in a situation where the human sex ratio is seen to be at par, it is only fair and important that the whole world pays attention to the menace of Breast Cancer on the lives of women.
Now, the question is: Can we live in a world where almost half of the population feels threatened by this menace, without the whole world being affected? Can we live in a world where almost half of the population feels psychologically defeated, and yet the whole population is not affected? Your guess is good as mine. It will never happen.
The role of a woman starts from the day a child is conceived and ends the day that same child dies. The woman is the point through which God sustains procreation. After taking seed, the woman carries the fetus for averagely 9 good months, gives birth, becomes a mother, plays the role of a friend and a wife, and last but not the least, the woman grows to become the grandmother who takes care of the grandchildren in the absence of the young couples.
In a world where women are not spared from working to contribute to the finances of the home, the situation is even worse. The woman doubles as a bread winner and also plays the traditional role of a woman. For these reasons, every society needs women who are physically and psychologically strong to contribute their quota to the growth of its economy. It is therefore safe to say that we need a society that is fairly free of the menace of the breast cancer disease to prosper as a nation.
The health of the woman is tied to every aspect of the growth and prosperity of the society. Take away the contribution of women working class to the economy, and the economy will be found struggling. Take away the motherly role of the woman in the house, and men and fathers have no time and peace of mind to do anything. Take away the motherly role of women and their responsibility to their children, and we will produce a nation of uncultured people. Not only will we produce uncultured generation but also we will produce a generation of people who are unhealthy because they did not get the right balance diet at a time that they needed most. As we all know, productivity of a nation is also dependent on the health of the workforce. And, as has been repeatedly said, a sound mind lives in a sound body.
Our nation and the world can only claim to be rich and healthy when its partner is said to be in good condition and well catered for. Every nation thrives when it is built on a solid foundation -a foundation made of women who are healthy and untroubled by the scare of the breast cancer disease. Let’s make the foundation strong and the structure will survive all difficult environments. When our women are protected against this menace, and are well supported in difficult times, we will create a conducive atmosphere for proper growth to take place.
Our friends, sisters, mothers and partners in the fight against poverty and disease are fighting a menace that poses a threat to their lives. What does a friend do for a friend in need? What does a brother do for a sister in trouble? What does a husband do for a wife in difficulties? What does a son do for the mother? And what does the world do for a partner in difficult times? A battle becomes easier to win when all forces are put together in a selfless and sacrificial way. The world can only claim to be secure, healthy and rich only when it has succeeded in providing its women security of a healthy life and support in times of trouble. When we save a woman today, we save a generation tomorrow. A healthy breast makes a rich nation. Let’s support Breast Cancer Awareness campaign.
By Daniel Ofosu-Asamoah
The writer is a communicator, researcher, speaker, and a teacher.
You can reach him via [email protected]