Global Access to Cancer Care Foundation (GACCF) Coordinates Free Cervical Cancer Screenings in Ghana

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Global Access to Cancer Care Foundation is partnering with the Mayo Clinic and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) to sponsor a 5K charity walk in Kumasi, Ghana to provide access for cervical cancer detection.

Global Access to Cancer Care Foundation (GACCF) http://www.globalaccf.org, the leading global cancer care organization providing oncology education programs in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), announced today that it is partnering with the Mayo Clinic and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) to sponsor a 5K charity walk in Kumasi, Ghana to provide access for cervical cancer detection.

The free event called, Steps for Hope, Walk to cure Cervical Cancer, will take place on March 21 in Kumasi, Ghana. The walk will start at the Ashanti Regional Police Headquarters in Kumasi at 8 a.m. GMT and end at the Kumasi Technical Institute.

It is estimated that more than 1,000 women will participate in the walk and as part of the event will receive educational material about the need for cancer screening, early detection, and intervention. The day’s activity will also include free cervical cancer examinations by GACCF medical professionals as well as enjoy entertainment including food, dancing, and music.

GACCF is also teaming up with Global Oncology, a volunteer community of physicians, scientists, public health experts and other professionals who treat cancer patients to hand out 1,000 comic books designed to educate West African populations about cervical cancer and the HPV vaccine.

To make a donation visit: http://www.globalaccf.org/steps-for-hope    

“GACCF is dedicated to helping underserved communities in LMICs detect cancer before it’s too late,” said Tonya Steiner, Executive Director of Global Access to Cancer Care Foundation. “Most patients are diagnosed with advanced cancer due to poor public awareness. That is why we are partnering with academic centers, government agencies and medical institutions like the Mayo Clinic to host cancer awareness days with free cancer screening. Cervical cancer screening greatly reduces morbidity and mortality; however in Ghana this type of preventative care is virtually nonexistent. We are excited to walk together to fight against cancer.”

According to the World Health Organization, every two minutes a woman dies of cervical cancer, yet the disease is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer. It is estimated that cervical cancer will kill 1,500 Ghanaian women this year alone due to the lack of access to screening and health professionals who can detect the disease early.

“A cancer diagnosis is devastating wherever in the world it is delivered – but in countries like Ghana, or other regions with limited resources, most patients are diagnosed with advanced cancer and do not have the possibility of cure,” said Kenneth W. Merrell, M.D., Mayo Clinic

“Currently there are five functional radiation machines in a country of more than 30 million. That is why the GACCF is committed to providing the technology and training to deliver safe and effective radiation treatment and influence the public to seek out earlier detection of cancer so they can have a better chance of survival.”

Cancer kills more people in low and middle-income countries than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. Eighty percent of global cancer deaths occur in LMICs but only five percent of total global spending on cancer care is expended in these regions.

“The challenge facing cancer management and treatment in West African countries is the lack of access to detect the disease early,” said Mr. Osei Acheamfour, lead medical physicist at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital. “Seventy percent of cases we see are in very advanced stages. The collaboration with GACCF and the Mayo Clinic helps us to improve our professional skills of our staff to enhance quality healthcare delivery for our patients.”

GACCF is dedicated to advancing cancer care in developing countries to address the scarcity of cancer care due to outdated equipment and simplified techniques. GAACF organizes networks of cancer care professionals (doctors, nurses, medical physicists, dosimetrists, and radio therapy technicians) who implement and oversee workshops and training events in the discipline of radiation oncology and related high-level physics for the world’s neediest patients.

To learn more on how to support the GACCF and its work in Ghana visit: http://www.globalaccf.org.

About Global Access to Cancer Care Foundation:
The Global Access to Cancer Care Foundation (GACCF) offers training, technology, access, and hope; specifically for low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in South America, Africa, South and East Asia. The Foundation’s cancer care professionals help to implement and oversee training courses and workshops in collaboration with local partners such as universities, hospitals or governmental institutions that enhance cancer treatment through radiotherapy treatment. These regional programs aim to overcome the lack of trained professionals who treat cancer patients in the near term. By empowering local faculty to deliver training, the GACCF education programs encourage self-reliance and sustainability. To support the success of these programs, the GACCF provides project management, financial support, and professional teams from within and outside the region. For more information visit: http://www.globalaccf.org.

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