Putting the spotlight on common cancers found in women
With today being the start of Women’s Month, we look at a series of women-related health issues, and this week we take a look at cancers and how to deal with them.
Knowing that according to CANSA, a nongovernmental organisation that advocates for the prevention, early detection and effective treatment of cancers in SA, October is the month where the focus is on cancers. However, because of the rise in prevalence of cancers, it makes sense to focus on them any time of the year, when an opportunity arises, hence the use of Women's Month to talk about common cancers amongst women of SA.
Refiloe Mpakanyane speaks to Weekend Breakfast resident medical doctor and CEO of Proactive Health, Dr Fundile Nyati for more on this.
One needs to put the whole issue of cancer in the right context. When one looks at death statistics in South Africa every year, focusing on what are the top death drivers, there is a big category there called non-communicable diseases. That category, which forms 58% of all deaths and has been rapidly rising, includes the cancers.Dr Fundile Nyati, CEO - Proactive Health
There are five cancers that are very common among women in South Africa. The first one is breast cancer, the number one cancer among females in South Africa. That is followed by cervical cancer or cancer of the mouth of the womb. Cervical cancer is most common among black females and breast cancer is number two. But when we take the total population, breast cancers are number one and cervical cancer is number two.Dr Fundile Nyati, CEO - Proactive Health
The third one is colorectal cancer, cancer of the large bowel and the rectum. It's the number three cancer in South Africa among females. Number four is the cancer of the uterus, the lining of the womb. Number five is lung cancer.Dr Fundile Nyati, CEO - Proactive Health
According to Dr Nyati, if there is any change to one's breast such as a lump on the breast or armpit and it is sudden, that is something to make you concerned. If there is a change on the surface of the skin - almost like an orange peel - you must be worried. if there is a change around the nipple itself or some discharge in the nipple that has not been there before, that's something that should make you worried.
If there is a retraction of the nipple - it goes inside - that should worry you. You must also be concerned when there is sagging of one of the breasts, where the nipple is much lower than the other.
The starting point is to know your body. If you know your body, you know your breasts then any change to what you know is something that should get you worried.Dr Fundile Nyati, CEO - Proactive Health
Self-breast-examination once a month is very important. Have clinical breast examination at least once a year when you have your annual medical and mammograms at least every two years.Dr Fundile Nyati, CEO - Proactive Health
When it comes to cancer of the cervix or the mouth of the womb, usually a person will present issues of bleeding from their vagina in-between periods or have a discharge that is continuous and is usually offensive or the periods themselves become heavier.Dr Fundile Nyati, CEO - Proactive Health
Listen below for the full interview ...
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