Every October, the world over, many individuals – both men and women, and various organisations work together to share facts about breast cancer in order to educate and empower others. This form of cancer is one of the most common cancers among South African women – and its incidence is rising at a rapid rate.
According to medical research, South African women overall have a one in nine chance of getting cancer, and breast cancer tops the list of possibilities. As with many other cancers, early detection is key and it can literally save one’s life by ensuring that effective treatment is started timeously. An early diagnosis of breast cancer in 95% of women, coupled with the correct/appropriate treatment can save these women’s lives and they can live for many years afterward.
It is unfortunate that breast cancer is shrouded in misconceptions and myths, which ultimately have resulted in stigma around the disease. However, it is encouraging to see incredible initiatives that not only focus on educating women but providing them with opportunities to share their journeys with other people.
With the power of social media, amazing campaigns of come to life to show how one can self-exam their own breasts and that to look out for – for example in South Africa, the Jet #ClearTheStigma and the Strawberry Lips #PinkDiaries Survivor stories. Globally Fenty has been pioneering some amazing initiatives and their most recent one has been the Savage X Fenty line where all proceeds from the Breast Cancer Awareness collection will go to her Clara Lionel Foundation to fund research and support those with breast cancer in the Black community.
Many years ago, a breast cancer diagnosis would most likely mean an untimely loss of life, however with the tools we have, the organisations that can offer support and practical assistance, there is no way that any woman or man cannot be in the position to fight for their well-being and to eventually get better.