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Susan G. Komen for the Cure has expanded its mission to Africa thanks to a little bit of help from Gabrielle Union, Malaak Compton-Rock, and Billye Aaron.

Komen for the Cure – a global leader of the breast cancer movement – invited the three women to an international breast cancer symposium in Accra, Ghana, late last month, where they met Ghana President John Kufuor for a dedication ceremony at the new HopeXchange Medical Center, a state-of-the-art breast cancer diagnostic and treatment facility.

“I’m hoping to dispel some very prevalent myths about what causes breast cancer and to break down some barriers for Ghanaian women,” said Union. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem— so do breast self-exams and go see a doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment will literally save your life.”

Ghana is one of several African countries the charity is focusing on, and the symposium highlighted the issues that block breast cancer care, including economics and politics.

“Once a country has the infrastructure in place to detect, diagnose and treat breast cancer, it opens the door to the successful treatment of many other cancers,” said Komen President and CEO Hala Moddelmog. “Developing health care delivery systems, when done logically and successfully, can be a self-replicating process in other countries.”

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