Breast cancer incidence in South Africa
Cancer in South Africa is an emerging health problem, with breast cancer being one of the leading cancers in women. This does follow similar worldwide statistics.
Lifetime risks of developing breast cancer vary from a low of one in 81 in African women (similar to Japan) to a high of one in 13 among white women, similar to rates in Western countries. Age and stage at diagnosis vary considerably between the different races and populations (urban v rural) living in South Africa.
There are many different determinants (socioeconomic, cultural, geographic and accessibility) to medical centres with oncology services.
Availability of traditional healers affects patients with breast cancer (mainly rural black women) in their decisions to obtain early medical help as well as to refrain from the proposed therapeutic methods (surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy)
Reference: Sandton Oncology Centre, University of the Witwatersrand.
CANSA (Cancer Association of South Africa) is proud to be associated with the NCR (National Cancer Registry) and is waiting for the decision to be gazetted soon from the Department of Health which will compel all health care facilities and laboratories to provide the NCR with information. This is especially important when decisions’ relating to screening, prevention as well as treatments is made.
Many Medical Aids in South Africa pay for a yearly Mammogram and Pap smear but this is of course only accessible to those with medical insurance.
Would it not be an idea to challenge those who can afford Medical Aid to sponsor one person to undergo a mammogram? This could be your domestic worker, your Au Pair or your Personal Assistant.
Most of the state hospitals in South Africa have long waiting lists and many of our population do not receive medical treatment for cancers in time.
The top five cancers among South African women are:
- Origin unknown
- Kaposi Sarcoma( AIDS related)
Have you had your mammogram this year?
Are you a breast cancer survivor and willing to share this experience with your fellow club members?
Are you willing to sponsor one mammogram?
Lisette Genseberger, SISA President-elect