LISTEN | Breast cancer increasing among SA's women

23 October 2020 - 10:08
Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among white and Asian women, and the second most common cancer among African and coloured women.
Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among white and Asian women, and the second most common cancer among African and coloured women.
Image: 123rf/dolgachov

Breast cancer among South African women is increasing and it is one of the most common cancers among women in the country, says the department of health.

The designation of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in SA reflects a nationwide drive by health-care structures, both government and private, to raise awareness about this disease.

Cara Noble, national relationship manager for service at the Cancer Association of SA highlighted the importance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, saying it  goes hand-in-hand with breast cancer support.

“Breast cancer is the number one cancer affecting South African women across all races and ages. I think it is so important that we have breast cancer awareness for the undiagnosed person walking on the street, and support for the cancer patients,” said Noble.

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CEO and founder of PinkDrive, Noelene Kotschan, told how Covid-19 has had an effect on non-communicable diseases such as breast cancer in SA.

“A new World Health Organisation (WHO) report has found that Covid-19 has dramatically affected the treatment of non-communicable diseases — and SA has not been spared, with about 105,000 people diagnosed with cancer in SA every year,” said Kotschan.

“It is estimated that due to lockdown, a third of people are not reaching cancer screening services. If a third, or about 35 000 people, are not picked up through screening and referred for treatment, the cost of Covid-19 will be far greater than the number of people that die from it.”

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