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Cancer Support Network Foundation Holds Inspiring Cancer Survivors Gala

The Cancer Support Network Foundation (CSNF) has held its inaugural Cancer Survivors Month with a heartwarming gala, bringing together survivors, supporters, and advocates in a powerful display of resilience and solidarity.

The event, held in Accra, marked a significant milestone for the Foundation and underscored its commitment to supporting cancer patients in Ghana.

Achievements and Future Goals

The Founder and Board Chair of CSNF, Juliet Appiah Quansah, in her address reflected on the progress made since CSNF’s inception in 2018, highlighted the foundation’s efforts in providing financial and psychological support to cancer patients, organizing screening and awareness programs, and fostering a community of care.

“In the past six years, we’ve supported many cancer patients, conducted screening and awareness programs in various regions of Ghana, and now, we’re celebrating Cancer Survivors Month,” Quansah noted. “But we are just getting started; there is so much more to achieve.”

As a medical oncologist and hematologist, I know firsthand the challenges faced by cancer patients, Quansah shared. My husband’s unwavering support allows me to dedicate myself to this cause, helping patients both in the United States and Ghana. To our esteemed donors and everyone who has contributed, your generosity has made a tangible difference.”

According to her, the foundation has worked tirelessly to ensure that no patient faces cancer alone, striving to promote better cancer care and survivorship.

However, she praised their strength and resilience she also encouraged them to see cancer as a word, not a sentence, and to draw strength from their journey.

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and more beautiful than you can imagine,” she affirmed. “Cancer is not a death sentence; it is just one part of your life.”

Call to Action

She made a passionate call to action, urging all and sundry to join hands in supporting the foundation’s mission. She emphasized the need for collective financial support to help cancer patients and sustain CSNF’s initiatives.

She also expressed her profound gratitude to the doctors, nurses, facilities, and partners who have in diverse ways to support CSNF’s work.

The Head of Breast Unit, Surgical Department, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital Dr Florence Dedey delivered an inspiring keynote speech titled “Rising Strong Beyond Cancer: A Celebration of Survivorship and Hope for All.”  Dr. Dedey also shared her unique perspective as both a clinician and a cancer survivor.

The Growing Cancer Burden in Ghana

Dr. Dedey highlighted the significant rise in cancer cases in Ghana, noting a 60% increase in diagnosed cases and a 70% rise in mortality from 2008 to 2022.

In 2022 alone, there were an estimated 27,400 new cancer cases and 18,000 deaths. The most prevalent cancers—breast, liver, cervix, prostate, ovary, and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma—accounted for over 60% of these cases.

“The impact of cancer extends beyond the physical,” Dr. Dedey emphasized. “It affects the psychological, social, economic, and spiritual well-being of patients, their families, and society.”

Cancer Support Network Foundation

Prevention and Early Detection

Dr. Dedey stressed the importance of prevention and early detection, citing that approximately one-third of cancers can be prevented through vaccinations and lifestyle modifications.

Vaccinations against Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) can significantly reduce the risk of liver and cervical cancers.

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Additionally, lifestyle factors such as physical activity, diet, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol intake play a crucial role in cancer prevention.

“Early detection with effective treatment saves lives,” Dr. Dedey stated. “Awareness and availability of screening tests for common cancers like cervical, breast, colorectal, liver, and prostate are essential.”

Call to Action

Dr. Dedey commended CSNF for introducing Cancer Survivors Month in Ghana and encouraged continued support for cancer survivors beyond active treatment. She called for comprehensive care that addresses the multifaceted needs of survivors, involving a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals.

“Let us support advocacy groups like CSNF, volunteer, and provide financial assistance to improve outcomes for cancer patients and survivors,” Dr. Dedey urged. “Together, we can ensure that no cancer survivor is left behind.”

Mrs. Sussan Malik, founder of the Maudlokko Breast Cancer Survivor Foundation, addressed the audience on behalf of Health Minister Hon. Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye. She affirmed the Minister’s commitment to engaging in constructive dialogue with the Cancer Support Network Foundation (CSNF) to support cancer patients and sustain the Foundation’s vital initiatives.

President of Cancer Support Network Foundation (CSNF) Mr. Akwasi Osei
President of Cancer Support Network Foundation (CSNF) Mr. Akwasi Osei

Gratitude to Supporters and Donors

In his remark, the President of Cancer Support Network Foundation (CSNF) Mr. Akwasi Osei thanked the supporters and donors whose generosity fuels CSNF’s mission.

Stressing that, their contributions provide essential resources and support services, making a tangible difference in the lives of countless individuals and families affected by cancer.

“Your belief in our cause enables us to make a tangible difference in the lives of countless individuals and families,” he emphasized, highlighting the collective impact of their support.

A Night to Remember

The gala included inspiring testimonials, moving performances, and opportunities for attendees to connect and share their experiences. The gala was a testament to the power of community and the enduring spirit of those affected by cancer.

Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo

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