Early detection saves lives

OCTOBER is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and PinkDrive has arrived in Kouga to offer a range of health screening services free of charge to both women and men from our communities.

On behalf of the Kouga Council, I would like to thank Cennergi, the Kouga Wind Farm and Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm for making the outreach possible.

Services available will include mammograms, pap smears, clinical breast examinations and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, as well as education regarding breast, cervical, prostrate and testicular cancer.

The programme started at the KwaNomzamo Clinic yesterday (18 October) and is at the Sea Vista Clinic today and Pellsrus Clinic tomorrow.

I would like to encourage residents to make use of this opportunity.

Early detection can be a game changer when it comes to surviving cancer. Statistics show, for example, that more than 90% of women survive breast cancer if it is detected early enough. It is important to remember that not everyone necessarily shows symptoms; hence annual check-ups such as those on offer from PinkDrive are highly recommended.

Also important should you or a loved one be diagnosed with cancer, is to make use of the support structures that are available. Cancer is not a death sentence, but it is by no means an easy journey and drawing strength and inspiration from others makes every step you take just that little bit easier.

From personal experience I can attest to the many incredible individuals and organisations in Kouga who will not hesitate to take the hand of a complete stranger to lead them out of the dark despair that can so easily take hold of cancer patients and their families.

I would like to thank and salute these men and women, many of whom have had close personal encounters with cancer, for all they do on a daily basis to help ease the burden of others.

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