Awareness Month

Don’t Get Scared, Get Checked

Breast cancer … it’s a scary reality, but far too many women assume that it won’t happen to them. However, according to The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), approximately 19.4 million women aged 15 years and older are at risk of developing breast cancer.

As one of the most common cancers in South Africa, breast cancer is increasing in incidence — for many women in rural areas, breast cancer remains a silent killer with some women not even knowing what the symptoms are or where to seek treatment. But, with October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, we’re raising awareness of this debilitating disease and making sure that as many South Africans as possible know the signs of breast cancer and understand what is required to ensure an early diagnosis.

Every Breast Counts

While the size, shape and consistency of all breasts differ; every woman is at risk of getting breast cancer. But it’s not just women who should be aware; according to CANSA, 1 in every 922 men also develop breast cancer.

Reduce the Risk

According to research by the South African Health Department, more than 90% of patients survive breast cancer if the condition is detected early. Presenting yourself early for treatment may also result in more effective treatment, leading to a reduction in pain and suffering. 

Check Your Breasts

Regular self-breast examination and regular mammograms are key to early detection. Follow these four easy steps to check your breasts for any signs of breast cancer:

  • Step 1: With your right arm relaxed by your side, use the pads of the three middle fingers on your left hand to examine your right breast.
  • Step 2: Using a circular motion, apply light pressure, then medium pressure, then firm pressure on your breast to check for any lumps or changes.
  • Step 3: Remember to feel for any changes above and below your collarbone and in the area of your armpit too.
  • Step 4: Repeat these steps on your left breast.

Know the Symptoms

Apart from checking for lumps in your breasts, it’s also important to look out for other symptoms, including:

  • Nipple discharge
  • Dimpling
  • Redness
  • Changes to the skin’s texture
  • Lymph node changes
  • Swelling

Oncology Care Programme

Being diagnosed with any type or form of cancer can be incredibly stressful, which is why we offer our members access to our Oncology Care Programme. To learn more about this programme and how to register, please visit our website: https://www.bestmed.co.za/benefits/oncology-benefit-management

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