October is Breast Cancer month throughout the world and is the time to spread awareness of the importance of self-examination and breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and affects one in eight women of all races. The 2015-2016 breast cancer facts and figures revealed that approximately 40,290 women are expected to die from breast cancer.
When it is left undetected and untreated, breast cancer can spread to other areas of the body and it then referred to as metastatic breast cancer and classed as stage 4.
To pledge full support in the programmes that are aimed to create awareness on breast cancer, Women in Action, a group of pastors’ wives in the Universal Church, and trained cancer counsellors visit oncology wards in different hospitals to offer help to breast cancer patients. They also do home visits. The support group also meets monthly at the UCKG in Noord Street and the main church in Soweto.
Sarah who is a breast cancer survivor believes that early detection of cancer greatly increases the chances for successful treatment.
“When I developed two small lumps in my breasts I didn’t think much of them and the word cancer never crossed my mind. However, two months later the lumps grew and became painful. I then went to a doctor who told me it was a boil and I was given medication. The pain persisted and I was forced to consult a second doctor for a different opinion. It was then that I was told I had breast cancer and I was put on treatment for cancer. I went through chemotherapy which was very painful. Later that year my left breast was removed. It took three months for the wound to heal. I wasn’t bothered by the fact that I had lost a breast, but rather that I had a chance at a normal, healthy life,” she said.