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A time to see importance of breast health

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month women are encouraged to make their health a priority and find support when needed.

Cansa urges women to get to know their bodies and become aware of cancer symptoms.

“We encourage annual medical check-ups and cancer screening for early detection, as symptoms don’t always present until cancer has spread,” the organisation stated. “Women need to lead a balanced lifestyle, cutting out lifestyle factors that increase their cancer risk.”

Anyone wanting more information must be sure to contact the local Cansa Care Centre for health awareness materials.

People can also find support through CANSA’s iSurvivor Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) email support programme.

“MBC cancer patients’ long-term diagnosis means they live with many side effects and challenges daily. The limitations of their condition don’t always allow them to attend face-to-face support groups and so it’s important to offer something meaningful and helpful online.

“With the help of experts and MBC patients, Cansa’s existing iSurvivor email support programme was re-written with a focus on the needs of MBC patients. Patients will receive weekly emails over 16 weeks helping to guide and support them with regards to coping,” Gerda Strauss, Cansa’s Head of Service says.

Approximately 19,4 million women aged 15 years and older are at risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer – the cancer affecting women in South Africa the most. According to Cansa, in 2013 deaths from breast cancer and cancers of the female genital tract, accounted for 0,7% and 1% of all deaths in South African, respectively.

Awareness of the symptoms, and early detection through screening, can help lead to earlier diagnosis, resulting in improved treatment outcomes. Awareness of risk factors, can help women reduce their personal cancer risk.

Anyone wishing to speak to a counsellor can call the Cansa Help Desk on 0800 22 6622 to make an appointment for for Tele Counselling, or email us at counselling@cansa.org.za.

There are also various Facebook groups like Champions of Hope Group for cancer Survivors and chat to peers who are facing similar challenges.

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