October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The incidence of breast cancer among South African women is increasing with women having a one in 29 lifetime risk (NCR 2011) of being diagnosed and the most common cancer in women of all races and ethnicities in our country.


Cancer affects 1 in 4 people through diagnosis of family, friends or self and more than 100 000 South Africans hear the words “you have cancer” annutarget="_blank"ally.

  • A South African woman has a one in 8 lifetime risk of being diagnosed with cancer.
  • The top 5 cancers affecting SA women, (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers) according to the latest cancer statistics available from the National Cancer Registry (NCR 2011), are breast, cervical, origin unknown *, colorectal and uterine cancer (*not possible to detect where cancer originated in body).


Knowledge is power and being informed is half the battle won, because if women know their bodies, warning signs of cancer and go for regular screening, including breast self-examinations, cancer can be detected in the early stages, while it is still treatable.

During October, we would like to highlight the measures women can take to reduce their risk for the two most prevalent cancers diagnosed among South African women, namely breast and cervical cancer.

We urge women to regularly do breast self-examinations, and to make an appointment for a clinical breast examination at their local CANSA Care Centre or find out when a CANSA Mobile Health Clinic will be visiting their neighbourhood. Ladies can take advantage of the RSSA & BISSA discounted mammograms and breast MRI during October and the first half of November.


  • Do monthly breast self-examinations
  • Go for regular screenings
  • Symptom-Free women should go for a mammogram every year from the age of 40.



All information within this post have been obtained from The Cancer Association of South Africa.


Woman are encouraged to reduce their cancer risk by living a balanced lifestyle

Lifestyle factors that increase the risk of cancer

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