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‘Cancer Is Not A Death Sentence’

Regular screening of breast and early detection of cancer has been cited as a lifesaver in the fight against breast cancer, 263Chat has learnt.

Blessing Shumbamuto, a breast cancer survivor told delegates at a recent Breast Cancer luncheon organized by Troika Design Workshop (TDW), that there is a need for women to have self-tests that can detect early stages of the chronic illness.

“I’m a nurse and was getting my things in order so that I can go work overseas. I remember I had just finished writing my English test when I felt a lump on my breast. I just wanted them to remove it so that I move on with my plans, I didn’t think it was anything serious,” she said.

According to World Health Organization, about 9,8% of cancer incidents is breast cancer.

Shumbamuto highlighted that cancer does not only affect one’s physical health as it heavily weighs down on the patient’s mental health and that of family and caregivers.

“I had to go for surgery and chemotherapy lost my hair, and even developed other conditions as a result but I’m still standing and I know I was able to beat it.

“Don’t fear, go for testing. Early diagnosis saves lives and once you are diagnosed with cancer, be hopeful, don’t lose faith, don’t lose trust in God. Also, just have the vigour to fight and the determination to move on. Cancer is not a death sentence,” she said.

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According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 1.38 million new cases and 458 000 deaths from breast cancer are recorded each year globally (IARC Globocan, 2008). However, when breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that breast cancer can be cured.

Breast cancer is a cancerous tumour that occurs in the breast. It is cancer originating from breast tissue, most common from the inner lining of milk ducts or lobules that supply milk.

Currently, there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer, therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control.

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