A few years ago I had my first encounter with breast cancer when my aunt, was diagnosed and had to undergo a mastectomy. We had little knowledge back then about cancer and it was kind of a taboo topic . Fast forward to 2016 I have since lost three aunts to breast cancer , one aunt to cancer and one is currently a double mastectomy cancer survivor.
According to the National Cancer Registry Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women of all races, with a lifetime risk of 1 in 33 in South Africa. The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) has been leading the fight against cancer in South Africa for the past 82 years. Funding research with a yearly spend of R12 million, they offer prevention/educational campaigns , support services to those affected by cancer and patient care amongst other services.
Yes I realise it isn’t October where amidst the pink flurry of ribbons and messages of hope you feel proud knowing that you’ve made a difference. And you have!
While raising money funds research, mobile health clinics and much-needed services in communities the real difference we should be making is being educated and empowered enough to take charge of our health.
Prevention as they say is always better than cure and this can be as simple as making a lifestyle change by tweaking your diet, going for regular check ups and knowing your body by doing monthly self examinations.
As we move towards a world where we invest in ourselves first, spiritually,emotionally and financially we need to realise that giving ourselves a clean bill of health as scary as it might be is a long-term investment. Today we live longer and work harder. Taking care of your health is not only the best gift you can give yourself but it will improve your quality of life!