Chairperson of the Women Caucus in Parliament has called on government to include breast reconstruction surgery for breast cancer patients into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Sarah Adwoa Sarfo called on government to take the necessary steps, even if it requires amending the NHIS Act to extend the coverage to comprise breast reconstruction surgery for breast cancer patients.

NHIS only covers the cost of cryotherapy for cancer patients but does not cover reconstructive breast surgery for breast cancer patients.

Nearly 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer in Ghana are in advanced stages.

Of that percentage, about 30% of these cancer cases are below age 35 years old.

Most women don’t visit the hospital upon realising an abnormality in their breast until the cancer has reached an advanced stage.

Ms Sarfo entreated women to regularly visit hospitals designated for breast cancer screening to undertake this vital exercise and that screening should start from the early 20s.

A study by the International Agency for Research on cancer shows that there are about 1.38 million new cases and 458,000 deaths from breast cancer each year.

The report shows that breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in developed and developing countries as well as in low and middle-income countries.

The issue has been rising steadily on yearly bases due to poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, increase urbanization and adaptation of western lifestyles.

This month dubbed ‘Pink Month’ is breast cancer awareness and people are encouraged to continue to advocate for early detection and treatment for the disease as well as share their stories about surviving breast cancer.

The global aim for the month is to raise awareness and educate both men and women about the disease.