Breast cancer is one of South Africa’s biggest killer diseases. It is increasing daily among South African women and is one of the most common cancers in South Africa. Breast cancer in South Africa is an increasing health problem and it affects women from all ages and races. Breast cancer awareness month is important as it aims at prioritising breast cancer awareness, prevention, treatment and care to all South Africans. According to the National Cancer Registry (NCR) in 2014, over 8 000 women in South Africa were diagnosed with Breast Cancer. One in 27 women in the country will develop breast cancer during her lifetime.
It is also crucial that the stigma surrounding breast cancer should be tackled during the month of October. Misconceptions and myths that are attached to breast cancer have resulted in stigma around the disease. The stigma surrounding breast cancer has stopped many women from getting medical help in time because some women ended up believing that it is true. The stigmatisation played a significant role in negatively impacting the wellbeing of breast cancer patients.
Myths and Facts about breast cancer
Myth: Breast cancer is a disease of wealthy and developed countries.
Fact: Anyone can get cancer, no matter who you are or where you live.
Myth: Only old people get breast cancer.
Fact: You can get breast cancer at any age. The youngest girl in South Africa reported with breast cancer was 6 years old.
Myth: Breast cancer is a death sentence.
Fact: If detected early, the breast cancer can be cured.
Myth: We must not talk about breast cancer.
Fact: We must talk about breast cancer and by talking about it, you are making other people aware of it.
Myth: Breast cancer is caused by carrying money in your bra, so only women get it.
Fact: Using your bra as a pocket causes pain and discomfort. Men also get breast cancer. It is 1% of our population.
Myth: Breast cancer is a disease you get from upsetting your ancestors.
Fact: Our lifestyle can contribute to us getting breast cancer, for example, smoking, drinking, poor diet, lack of exercise, family history and so on.
It is important for women to be empowered with knowledge regarding lowering breast cancer risks and recognising warning signs. Women should also refrain from believing misinformation about breast cancer. All women should do screening for early detection as sometimes symptoms they don’t show until breast cancer has spread. The early detection of breast cancer is the most effective strategy to reduce it. Women need to live a healthy lifestyle, cutting out lifestyle factors that increase breast cancer risk. For example, not being physically active is one of the contributing factors to breast cancer and regularly drinking alcohol increases the risk of developing breast cancer. All women should limit alcohol intake to avoid the risk of breast cancer.
PinkDrive is a nonprofit organisation that promotes awareness and early detection of gender-related cancers in the general population of South Africa. You can get in touch with them on 011 998 8022 or email: email@example.com
Source: Pink drive.co.za