The KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo believes women should regularly do breast inspection in order to early detect any irregularities such as lumps or sores, which can be a sign for breast cancer.
The MEC says that men also have a role to play in this regard, as they can also assist in the inspection of their partner’s breasts.
Dhlomo was speaking to community members at KwaNzimakwe, under the Ray Nkonyeni Local Municipality (Ugu District), on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal Tuesday; he also stated that breast and cervical cancer are the two most common cancers afflicting women in South Africa.
“Because of early detection of breast cancer, many women are alive today. In fact, we want to have a situation whereby in the next 10 years, the only cancer we talk about is cervical cancer because it is able to hide. It is unlike breast cancer which is much easier to detect. I want to call upon all women to get used to inspecting their breasts. Occasionally, just feel your breasts and check if there’s anything unusual. Stand in front of the mirror, lift your hands and observe if both breasts go up. If one of them doesn’t, then that’s a sign that something may be wrong. That is when you must go to a health facility near you for a check-up. Men can also play a big role in this regard. If they don’t help their partners and problems arise, then they are culpable,” he said.
MEC also announced a new patient referral system for patients in the area. Previously, non-emergency patients who attend the local Ntabeni Clinic were referred to Gamalakhe Clinic before being transferred to Port Shepstone Regional Hospital.
He also urged parents to warn their children about the risks of getting tangled in inter-generational and transactional sexual relationships with older men as this is a major contributor to new HIV infections, especially among women aged 15 to 24.