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 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 do not pick up nor call me, maybe they think it’s contentious,” she added.
The side effect of chemotherapy started showing on Georgina as she began losing hair, would vomit after each session, she lose consciousness for a while.
“My hairdresser was concerned about the volume of hair I kept losing at each session with her; people started noticing it too so I eventually had to cut it off, leave the nursing because I could not cope. It was difficult,” she said.
She eventually left the nursing job and 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 don’t know how I would survive in this city,” a sobbing Georgina said.
Georgina, after various scans, labs and chemotherapy, 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 even have the money, I am afraid and that keeps me awake,” she said.
Meena Breast Cancer Foundation supports Georgina with GHC1200
The foundation also supported 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.
To support the project, kindly send your donations to 054 5822 773.