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Overcoming breast cancer

On Cancer Survivor’s Day on Sunday 2 June, Sarah Cupido of Mamre celebrated her own breast cancer victory.

The 76-year-old discovered she had the condition after a home visit by Jean Abels, a trained Community Health Worker of TB/HIV Care in Mamre as part of the Western Cape Government Health’s Community-orientated Primary Care (COPC) pilot project.

This approach means promoting health and more preventative interventions at household and community level, and not just clinic level.

Patients requiring urgent health-care intervention, who – like Cupido – are not accessing their health-care centre, are identified and referred to Mamre CDC for treatment.

“I had never had a pap smear before, and Jean sent me to the local clinic for a check-up,” Cupido related.

Abel insisted she be examined. Clinic nurse Sr Iris de Villiers of the Mamre Community Day Centre (CDC) provided a full health screening and breast examination, and lumps were discovered in Cupido’s breast.

She was immediately referred to the Breast Clinic at Groote Schuur Hospital in Observatory, Cape Town for further tests, and later on for treatment.

Cupido is currently in remission, taking her medication and attending a breast cancer support group in Mamre twice a month, also arranged by Abel as part of the COPC project.

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