The Director of Gynaecology and Oncology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, Linus Chuang, has said cervical cancer can be eradicated through regular screening and vaccination.
Other causes, he said, were smoking and suppressed immunity of the individual.
The two-day workshop held in Accra, was organised by the Ghana Health Service to equip healthcare providers with the necessary knowledge for the early detection of breast and cervical cancers, which is the major challenge health workers face in dealing with cancer cases in the country.
The workshop was sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and Roche Pharmaceuticals.
An oncologist from the National Centre for Radiation and Therapy at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Mrs Verna Vanderpuye said the workshop was aimed at educating primary health workers in the various regions on the recognition, treatment, education and referrals of breast and cervical cancer cases.
She urged health policy makers to include training modules on cancer in the curriculum of medical schools in the country to better equip the healthcare providers to combat the disease.
She added that families of cancer patients should endeavour to provide psycho-social and financial support for the patients.
Mrs Vanderpuye also stressed the need for awareness creation as 70 per cent of cancer patients who visited the hospitals were already at the advanced stage, “when nothing much can be done for them.”
She urged Ghanaians to be health conscious as a third of cancer cases were caused by infections.
Touching on the latest cancer treatment which was slowly gaining grounds, she said targeted therapy was very effective for the treatment of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
According to her, the non-invasive method which is focused on eliminating the cancer genes in the patient, is not well known in Ghana because most patients couldn’t afford it.
For his part, the National Coordinator for Family Medicine and Modular Training Programme for the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, Mr Mawuli Gyakobo, entreated healthcare providers at all levels to build relationships with their patients to aid easy detection of life-threatening diseases such as cancer.
He added that the healthcare givers should encourage their patients and families to undergo regular screening.
“The healthcare providers have an important role to play in the prevention and control of cancer. This is why we encourage them to live by what they preach, which is regular check-up”, he said.