Breast Cancer survivors celebrate at Hats and Roses breakfast in Swakopmund
By Adolf Kaure.
A cancer survivor, Priscilla Malgas narrated at the Cancer Association’s annual Hats and Roses gala breakfast in Swakopmund how she stayed positive and hopeful when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
The Hats and Roses breakfast is celebrated globally during October as part of the ‘Pink Month’ breast cancer awareness campaign.
Malgas, who is a human resource manager of a local insurance company was diagnosed in 2006, a couple of weeks before her 40th birthday.
“There is always hope through cancer and after cancer. Hope is not something you can create. It is something that is in all of us as humans,” she said.
According to the 57-year-old Malgas, it is vital for cancer patients and survivors to create hope for others. “We must also create hope for others. We need to create opportunities to tell our stories so that they create hope for them.”
“Don’t look like it is a shame to have cancer. Rather tallk to each other about it,” said Malgas.
Priscilla Malgas opted to have a double mastectomy in 2007 to prolong her life. She has been married for 29 years with two children. She remained functional at the work place despite her time battling cancer.
She expressed her gratitude to her family and company for supporting her during the time of her diagnosis and treatment. She urged all companies to provide this kind of support to their employees too.
“My company supported me. Be aware of the health of your employees and lead them to organisations like the Cancer Association of Namibia,” she said.
Cancer Association Chief Executive, Rolf Hansen emphasized the importance for early screening so that early treatment can be initiated. He described how women in many settings face complex barriers to this early detection.
“These barriers include social, economic, geographic and other inter-related factors which limit their access to timely and affordable health care services.”
“Health planners, policymakers, and other stakeholders including clinicians, educators, and advocates should be aware of the health system requirements as well as overall costs of these approaches to early detection to make effective investments, plans and policies.”
“When breast cancer is detected and treated early, the chances of survival are very high,” said Hansen.
The Cancer Association follows the World Health Organisation’s implementation guidelines to reach the Sustainability Goal of Access to Equitable Health Care and plans programmes accordingly. Amongst others, the association educates the general public on the prevention, early detection and threat of cancer by rendering a welfare service to all cancer sufferers according to established criteria.
Solidarity among women to celebrate life. Various women gathered for the Hats and Roses event in Swakopmund to support breast cancer awareness. (Photograph by Adolf Kaure)