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Focus on breast cancer

As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the City of Cape Town’s Health Department is encouraging women to take their own wellbeing in hand and make self-examination part of their routine.

The City’s clinics will run awareness campaigns focusing on the disease.

Mayco member for social services, JP Smith, says breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women and early detection can lead to effective treatment and a positive prognosis.

“Regular breast self-examination is key to early detection and we want to encourage women to visit their nearest clinic.”

The City’s Health Department runs breast cancer awareness campaigns which focus on self-examination and breast health. Smith says that should women find an abnormality, they should discuss it with a healthcare worker at their nearest clinic who can then refer them to a doctor for further examination and possible referral.

He explains that some tests for breast cancer can be done at clinic level, otherwise the health professional will refer the patient to the breast clinic at either Tygerberg or Groote Schuur Hospital.

“While the focus this month is on breast health, I want to encourage women to make their wellbeing a year-round priority. Try to live a healthy, balanced life, go for regular medical check-ups, and know how to lower your cancer risk,” says Smith.

According to the Cancer Association of South Africa, research has shown a link between exercising regularly at a moderate or intense level for four to seven hours a week and a lower risk of breast cancer.

“Becoming active and fitter doesn’t mean you have to spend money to join a gym. Many of the City’s recreation centres have programmes that encourage activity such as dance or aerobics and some parks offer outdoor gym equipment.

“You can also go for a brisk walk around the park, work in the garden or simply take the stairs instead of the lift. Just remember to check with your healthcare professional before starting an exercise programme,” says Smith.

A list of recreation centres and outdoor gyms can be found on the City’s website at www.capetown.gov.za.

What is your opinion on this article? Let us know at briewe@tygerburger.co.za.

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