October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and is recognised internationally all over the world to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.
Apart from non-melanoma skin cancer, 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.* That is a scary statistic!
PinkDrive, a South African breast cancer Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) offers South Africa’s first mobile PinkDrive Mammography Unit and PinkDrive Educational Unit, driving (literally) home the fact that `Early Detection Saves Lives´. These mobile clinics travel to semi-urban and urban areas around South Africa with the aim of enabling various disadvantaged communities access to education, physical examinations and how to do breast self-examination.
WHAT CAN I DO FOR MYSELF?
1.Ensure you check your breasts each month. For easy instructions on how to do this, visit
2. Ensure that you visit your wellness practitioner for an breast check up at least once a year (more if you have a history of cancer in the family).
3. Once you reach the age of 40, ensure you have a mammogram each year – don’t skip it!
HOW CAN I HELP OTHERS?
1.Spread the word! The more women who are doing self-checks, the lower the risk. Breast cancer, if caught with early detection, can be treated, with survivors going on to live happy, healthy lives.
2. Volunteer your time at PinkDrive – they are always looking for people to assist with their awareness events: http://www.pinkdrive.co.za/become-a-volunteer-2/
3. Raise awareness and funds by hosting a Cuppa For CANSA – host a social gathering with your friends, provide refreshments and snacks and ask everyone for a small donation to CANSA – helps raise awareness and you get to have tea with your favourite friends!
More information here: http://www.cuppa.org.za/2013/06/03/the-essential-cuppa/