Alemtsehay Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF) is a nonprofit 501c exempt organization whose sole purpose is to help Ethiopian women abroad and at home who are burdened with financial needs to access screening, diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. ABCF is also dedicated to guide Ethiopian women to optimal health through increased awareness about breast cancer and diseases that are associated with cancer.
The 2015 cancer awareness conference has covered the most common cancer disease that affects our community. Key messages from the conference presenters and discussants are summarized below.
Mr.DanielMengiste MC of the program.
Mrs.TsedaleAliyu and Mr.WosensegedKebede delivered a warm welcome speech to participants. Mrs.Tsedale further gave an overview of the foundation and its accomplishments and challenges in delivering services in our community. She concluded her speech pleading participants and our Ethiopian community to continue their support of the foundation.
WorkuAbebe, PHD – Georgia Regents University, Augusta, GA
Title: Ethiopian Spices with Anticancer Potential.
- Spices are commonly used by Ethiopians as flavoring agents in foods and beverages
- Among the commonly consumed spices, about half show anticancer
- The spices discussed having potential anticancer activities included Besobella (Basil), Dembelal (Coriander), Korerima (Cardamom), Qereffa (Cinnamon), Qerunfud (Clove), Zinjible (Ginger), Nech-shinkurt (Garlic), Caraway, Cammun (Cumin), Rosemary and Erd (Turmeric)
- The incorporation of these plant materials in foods and/or beverages is encouraged to get the benefits of possible cancer preventive effects.
- Meantime, it was emphasized that the use of spices cannot be a substitute or an alternative for seeing a professional health care provider for medical check-ups or treatments, should there be a need.
YohannesEndeshaw MD, MPH – Morehouse School of Medicine
Title: Breast Cancer
Two main points rose from presentation “Basic Clinical information and Prevention Strategies.
Breast Cancer is the most common cancer among women of all races.
According to American cancer society estimate, in 2015
- ~ 231 000 cases of invasive breast cancer
- ~ 60,000 cases of stage 0 (in situ) breast cancer
About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
- 85% of women with breast cancer report no family history
- Up to 15% of women with breast cancer report positive family history.
- 5% to 10% of women with breast cancer have gene mutations (abnormal changes
Breast cancer occurs in men, but not common.
A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000 (0.1%). Risk increases in men with breast cancer gene mutation (7 to 8%).
Symptoms and Signs of Breast Cancer
- Breast mass with or without pain
- Breast mass with or without skin changes
- Axillary mass & Nipple discharge
Breast mass can be detected by:
- Mammogram: preferred screening method
- Self-breast examination
Prevention Strategies: Primary prevention
Maintenance of healthy body weight; and Regular exercise; Consume healthy diet with emphasis on vegetables and fruits & Limit consumption of Red meat.
Secondary Prevention: Screening for breast cancer for early diagnosis and treatment;
Mammogram: most sensitive and specific method currently available.
Mammogram starts at age
- 45 – 50 years for women with no family history
– 40 years or even earlier for women with family history
*Discuss with your physician your breast cancer risk and determine what age to start screening and screening intervals.
TassewTesfaye, MD: Memorial family Medicine
Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Dr.Tesfaye presented ways to promote health and prevent disease by doing age and risk appropriate health screening and exams such as Mammography for early detection of breast cancer. furthermore, he discussed the cost of mammography is cheaper than treating breast cancer for example annual mammography might cost about $200 as opposed to 25,000 and more to treat breast cancer. In other words, the cost of screening is much cheaper than treating any of preventable diseases cancer or non- cancerous.Depression is another disease that affects many but curable if managed and treated properly. According to researchers, an average of 15% to 22 % of patients seen by a primary physician diagnosed with depression. Of those diagnosed with depression 80% of them return to their normal functional level after receiving proper counseling and treatment.
Some of the signs and symptoms of depression people need to be aware of are; Feeling sad, feeling hopelessness, helplessness and cries a lot, Loss of energy and interestSleep changes, Suicidal ideation and threat to kill others & Isolation.
**Dr.Tesfaye concluded his presentation by saying that preventing any disease is cheaper than treating
Title: Gastric Cancer
Dr. Mesay talked about Gastric Cancer causes, symptoms, and treatment in depth. Some of the early signs of gastric cancer are indigestion, heartburn, bloating and loss of appetite. As the tumor in the stomach grows the symptoms are much more severe such as abdominal pain, blood in the stool, weight loss, weakness and constipation and diarrhea.
**Dr. Mesay concluded his presentation by advising participants to seek advice if and when they start to develop symptoms of gastric cancer. And to eat a well-balanced diet, exercise, refrain from smoking and alcohol consumption.
Aba GebreSelasieTibebu. Debre Haile Gabriel Church. Atlanta, GA
Key points to remember
- Let us be honest and examine ourselves
- Seek medical and spiritual advice and open to people you trust
- Discuss your health issues openly to your physicians
- Start small to help, a little goes a long
We would like to thank our MC Mr. Daniel Mengsti, Wonderful guest speakers, our sponsors, Religious leaders. Board of directors and staff, Mrs.TsedaleAlayu, Mrs.Eleni Mamo, Mrs.WesenHagos, Mrs. Addis Bekele, Mr.WesensegedKebede and FasikaDerso as well as volunteers & local radio stations; Info media, Admas radio, TK radio, Ethiopia community and Mahdere radio for all their hard work in making this year’s conference a successful one.
We also would like to thank 2015 conference’s sponsors Desta Ethiopian Kitchen, Piassa restaurant, FIFI Tax, Mirage Travel, Ethiopian airlines, Wesen Video &Camera &Kertina video, Georgia Diabetes Association, Memorial drive family medicine, Dr,GebeyehuTeferi
We also would like to thank and recognize our loyal supporters: Flash Design, Elsa mart, Eyerus mart, Yeshi mart, Ledet Restaurant, Emama café, Dawit Tax, Piassa and Desta Ethiopian Kitchen.
We thank all the participants for attending the conference, for your positive comments and encouraging words.
Those of you who could not attend this year’s conference, we hope to see you next year in the meantime, please get involved! All subcommittees are accepting members.
To join us or learn more, please check out our website at www.abcfonline.org