With a lot of unanswered questions, a 30-year-old home-care nurse has had to accept her new normal.
Georgina Lutterodt was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2022.
“I shivered when the doctor broke the news to me, at the young age of 29, where from this disease?” she questioned.
The single mother of one said she woke up with a strange lump growing in her breast. After several self-examinations, she decided to visit the hospital.
“I went to the Cocoa Clinic where I was asked to do a biopsy to ascertain the cause of the growth, after some time I was told it was cancerous and referred to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital” she narrated.
Georgina needed to start the treatment process on time in order to avert a possible spread of the disease, she told a few close friends and asked for help.
“That was such a big mistake, most of my friends after telling them ignore my phone calls or call me. Maybe they think it is contagious” she added.
The side effect of chemotherapy started showing on Georgina as she began losing hair, vomiting after each session, and losing consciousness for a while.
“My hairdresser was concerned about the volume of hair I kept losing after each session. People started noticing it so I eventually had to cut it, and leave the nursing job because I could not cope. It was difficult” he said.
She said after abandoning the nursing job, she now survives on the sale of ice cream and the benevolence of family members.
“I sell ice cream in a cone which gets me GHC30 on a good day and GHC10 on a bad day. I know it is woefully inadequate but the good thing is my son’s father takes care of his fees and other school expenses, if not, I would have struggled to survive in the city,” a sobbing Georgina said.
Georgina, after various scans, labs, and chemotherapy sessions says she has been asked to undergo mastectomy; a surgery to remove a breast at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
“Apart from the fear of losing one of my breasts at this young age, I do not have money. I am afraid and that gives me sleepless nights,” she said.
Meena Breast Cancer Foundation (MBCF) supported Georgina with GHC1200.
The Foundation also assisted three other patients, 31-year-old hairdresser, Afua Pedenima, 64-year-old dressmaker, Comfort Adimey, and 63-year-old retiree, Mary Aidoo with GHC1600, GHC500, and GHC1500 respectively.
According to the 2020 GLOBOCAN report, Ghana is estimated to record 4,645 new breast cancer cases, more than double the estimated 2,062 new cases in 2012, with nearly 50% dying.
The high mortality rate is attributed to late-stage presentation, and most women affected with breast cancer are below 50 in Ghana.
However, there are no specialized breast cancer hospitals in the country.
“Governments across the world allocate money to HIV/AIDS every year, but AIDS is not as deadly as cancer,” the Executive Director of Meena Breast Cancer Foundation, Ibrahim Oppong Kwarteng said in an earlier interview.
The Meena Breast Cancer Foundation was launched on October 6, 2022, in Accra in memory of Mrs. Amina Oppong Kwarteng, who died of breast cancer on July 18, 2022.
Kindly send your donations to 054 5822 773 to support the saving lives agenda of MBCF.
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