Regular breast inspection can help beat cancer

2017-12-15 06:00

THE KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo advised women to get into the habit of regularly inspecting their breasts in order to detect lumps or sores, which can be a sign of breast cancer.

Speaking to the KwaNzimakwe community last week, Dhlomo said that breast and cervical cancer are two of the most common cancers that affect South African women.

“Because of early detection of breast cancer, many women are alive today. In fact, we want to have a situation whereby in the next 10 years, the only cancer we talk about is cervical cancer, because it is able to hide.

“It is unlike breast cancer, which is much easier to detect. I call upon all women to get used to inspecting their breasts,” he said.

Cases of men being diagnosed with breast cancer are also on the increase.

While cervical cancer used to affect women in their 60s, Dhlomo said it is becoming increasingly common among women in their 30s. In light of this, the National Health Council has formulated the National Cervical Cancer Prevention Policy (NCCPP) and the Breast Cancer Prevention and Control Policy, whose aim is to ensure that the early symptoms of cancer are identified early.

“With the new approach, we use liquid-based cytology, which is considered to be an alternative to conventional cytological investigations, also known as the pap smear.

“This ensures a good quality and clean slide which is easier to interpret, and reduces the need for repeat pap smears, thus saving costs,” said Dhlomo.

The MEC also announced a new patient referral system in the area. Previously, non-emergency patients who attend the local Ntabeni Clinic were referred to Gamalakhe Clinic before being transferred to Port Shepstone Regional Hospital.

With the new system taking effect, patients can now be referred straight to a gateway clinic at Port Shepstone Hospital for assessment and be admitted to the hospital if the situation warrants it. - Supplied.

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