Breast cancer remains the most prevalent in the country – October to be marked as awareness month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with more than 3780 breast cancer cases having been reported to the Cancer Association of Namibia in the last decade, this cancer remains the most prevalent in the country.
Chief Executive Officer of the Cancer Association, Rolf Hansen said cancer remains on the rise, but early interventions and quality treatment supports the survival rate.
“When comparing the Namibian Age Standardized Rate (ASR) to international and African cancer trends, Namibia needs to place more emphasis on breast and cervical cancer in addition to Kaposi’s Sarcoma and the current trends indicate that the population at risk, infection rate and mortality of especially Namibian women remain worrisome,” said Hansen.
On the positive side, Hansen said the Ministry of Health and Social Services have rolled out effective cervical screening programmes during the last two years and together with CAN’s outreaches focused on both breast and cervical cancer on a national level, the stronger preventative and earlier treatment is becoming a reality.
He advised women over the age of 40 years to get an annual mammogram or breast sonar to detect possible abnormalities in the breast tissue and ducts. “Especially women who were never pregnant, experienced late pregnancies and have had severe hormonal changes, should closely monitor their breast and conduct monthly breast self-examination (BSE) or a clinical breast examination (CBE),” he emphasized.
Statistics show that Namibia records an average of 3740 new cancer cases per annum spanning non-invasive skin cancer to more life-threatening cancer that even affect infants and women who remain more likely to be diagnosed with cancer in Namibia and continue to make up an average exceeding 54% of all cancer cases.
For more information on the possible warning signs and symptoms of breast cancer, visit the Can website at www.can.org.na or CAN’s medical team at 061 237740.