Breast Cancer is one of the leading cancers affecting women worldwide. South Africa is no exception. Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women of all races, with a lifetime risk of 1 in 35 in South Africa, according to the 2007 National Cancer Registry.
Breast Cancer is a serious disease that could lead to the loss of a breast or even death. However, if detected early, it can be successfully treated. Most women who are diagnosed are over the age of 50. However, Breast Cancer is becoming far more common in younger women.
All women are at risk of getting Breast Cancer but you are more at risk if you:

  • Are over 40
  • Have a mother or sister who has been diagnosed with Breast Caner
  • Started your period at a young age
  • Have gone through menopause at a late stage
  • Had children after the age of 30 or not at all
  • Drink more than two glasses of alcohol per day
You can reduce the risk of breast cancer by:

  • Exercising
  • Eating a low fat diet
  • Controlling your weight
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation
  • Stopping smoking
Do a breast examination every single month

  • Get to know the size, shape and feel of your breasts. That way you will detect any changes in your breasts that could be signs of Breast Cancer
  • A breast self-examination will take only 10 minutes of your time once a month and could save your life.
  • The best time to examine your breast is one week after your period
  • If you no longer menstruate, choose the same day of each month
See your doctor or nearest clinic as soon as possible. A lump does not mean that you have Breast Cancer. Many lumps are non-cancerous but a doctor must check all lumps. If you are older than 40, it is advisable to have a mammogram every year. Early detection could save your life.
It is an X-ray that can assist in detecting Breast Cancer before the lump is even obvious. This only takes a few minutes and is relatively painless.