October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the City of Cape Town health department is encouraging women to make self-examination a part of their routine.
Approximately 19.4 million women aged 15 years and older live at-risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, according to Cancer Association of South Africa.
The City’s clinics will run awareness campaigns focusing on the disease.
Should women find an abnormality they should discuss it with a healthcare worker at their nearest clinic. Some tests for breast cancer can be done at clinic level, otherwise the health professional will refer residents to breast clinics at either Tygerberg or Groote Schuur hospitals.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security; and social services, JP Smith, said, “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.”
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,” said Mr Smith.