October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, early detection is important

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it is about educating people about the disease say experts.

The early detection of breast cancer is one of the most important undertakings to successfully treat the disease.

Yet for so many South Africans, it is difficult to treat this disease from the onset, because of challenges in accessing medical services.

Speaking to Bongani Bingwa, Head of the Helen Joseph and Netcare Breast Care Centre Professor Carol Benn says 20 years ago when she first set up her first unit at Baragwanath Hospital, 80% of the patients were coming in with the disease at an advanced stage and that number has dropped to 62%.

READ: 'Government needs to introduce a formal cancer policy for the workplace'

We don't need expensive scanning programs, we need people to take responsibility. It is your body, if you feel something wrong, you need to be able to access healthcare services.

Professor Carol Benn, Head of the Helen Joseph and Netcare Breast Care Centre

So if you feel that something is not right, no matter what the doctor tells you if you feel it is not right, come in have a check and do ultrasounds and mammograms and we can find out what is going on.

Professor Carol Benn, Head of the Helen Joseph and Netcare Breast Care Centre

She adds that Air Angels, the air ambulance emergency evacuation service, in partnership with the Breast Health Foundation, is to start a campaign and a fundraising initiative to bring their services to the people.

Having this joint venture for me is very important because we are taking to critical issues in our country that of trauma which is a huge and cancer and putting awareness out there.

Professor Carol Benn, Head of the Helen Joseph and Netcare Breast Care Centre

Listen below to the full interview:


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