Skin-lightening products that contain mercury have been identified as having possible breast cancer effects among women of African descent.
The President of Breast Care International (BCI), Dr. Mrs. Beatrice Wiafe-Addai, who made the disclosure, has therefore advised women on the use of the products.
She said research conducted by Peace and Love Hospital, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Kumasi and Accra made that revelation.
The research was funded by National Cancer Institute (NHI), in the USA, according to Dr Mrs. Beatrice Wiafe, who is also the CEO of Peace and Love Hospitals.
She said this during a free breast cancer education and screening at the Kwadaso SDA Nursing and Midwifery Training College – Kwadaso Campus, in the Atwima Nwabiagya North district of the Ashanti region.
The program held on Sunday, January 29, 2023, was part of Delta Airline’s sponsored “Kick Breast Cancer Out” campaigns, in collaboration with BCI and Peace and Love Hospitals.
“Ghana Breast Health Study conducted revealed that the use of skin lightening (bleaching) agents like creams, pills and injection may increase the risk of breast cancer,” she warned.
“Apart from contracting skin cancer, using skin bleaching agents may also put the person at breast cancer risk. I, therefore, advise women to desist from the habit,” Dr. Wiafe Addai appealed.
The students were advised also to adopt self-breast examination to avoid contracting the dreadful breast cancer disease.
She said most women got the disease without being aware and the only way to avoid is through self-examination and clinical screening.
“Regular screening of the breasts helps in detecting lumps as well as reporting any changes of the breasts to the hospital would lead to early diagnosing and treatment,” she stated.
The nursing trainees who had their breasts clinically screened expressed their profound gratitude to Dr Mrs Beatrice Wiafe Addai and believed that the education will go a long way in shaping their lifestyles,
The Principal of Kwadaso SDA Nursing and Midwifery Training College, Daniel Atta Tuffour, said the knowledge acquired in the program would help the nurses to also educate their families on the disease.
He also added his voice on the adaptation of regular self-examination and clinical breast cancer screening to avoid the late stage of the disease.