CANSA supports the National Department of Health’s efforts to prioritise awareness of breast and cervical cancer and to educate women with the knowledge of symptoms, screening opportunities and lowering cancer risk.
This August, in line with our 365 Day Health Challenge, women are encouraged to exercise their right to cancer screening and to proactively share that they’ve been screened on every available platform, including social media, encouraging and challenging other women to get screened.
Breast Cancer Screening
Women who have no symptoms of breast cancer should request an annual Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) when visiting primary health care centres as it’s their right, as per the National Department of Health Breast Cancer Control Policy. CANSA also offers CBE’s at our CANSA Care Centres.
CANSA advocates a mammogram every year for all women from age 40 to 54 for purposes of non-symptomatic breast screening (women 55 years and older, should have a mammogram every two years – or if they choose, continue with an annual mammogram). Public Hospital Breast Clinics or the Radiological Society of SA (RSSA) on 011-794 4395 www.rssa.co.za can be contacted to arrange for a mammogram.
Cervical Cancer Screening
Most cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), making it one of the most preventable cancers when the HPV vaccination is implemented appropriately. The vaccination is safe and most effective when given at an early age (9 years and older) or before sexual debut. In SA the HPV vaccination was approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority in February 2008 for its efficiency. HIV infected women are at an increased risk for HPV infection at an earlier age (13-18 years).
All women should go for Pap smears at least every three years, from the age of 25, to detect abnormal cells early. However, women are entitled to and can request a screening at a younger age. CANSA provides Pap smear screening at CANSA Care Centres around the country.
Information CANSA web page