UKZN Lends Hand in Fight Against Cancer
October was the official Breast Cancer Awareness Month worldwide and UKZN, in partnership with the Cancer Association of South Africa, held a Breast Cancer Awareness campaign on the Westville and Pietermaritzburg campuses.
Free screenings were available on site for all, with donations taken at the door. Over R4 000.00 was raised on each campus, with all funds going to CANSA to use for accommodation and counselling initiatives that support people infected with and affected by cancer.
It is important for people to be aware of the following information about different types of cancer:
• Breast Cancer: Monthly self -breast examinations. Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early when it is easier to treat. This is not available during routine screening in the public sector. CANSA recommends all women over 40 should have regular mammograms
• Cervical Cancer: The pap test can find abnormal cells in the cervix which may turn into cancer. The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirus) that can cause these cell changes. Pap tests detect cervical cancer early, when the chance of being cured is very high
• Colorectal (Colon) Cancer: Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests also can find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best
• Skin Cancer: Regular skin spot checks to look for any changes in moles or skin lesions
• Prostate Cancer: CANSA recommends that all men over 40 should have routine PSA tests. This is not available in the public sector, however men are encouraged to speak to their health care practitioner should they have any concerns
Speaking at the event, Ms Sesethu Senene of CANSA said it was important for people to do self-examination and get screened regularly for any symptoms of cancer.
People can get assistance from your CANSA centre through the following contact details:
Toll Free Call Centre: 0800 22 66 22
WhatsApp: 072 197 9305 (English and Afrikaans)
WhatsApp: 071 867 3530 (Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho and Siswati)
Words: Nokubonga Nomasiko Jele
Photographs: Albert Hirasen and Kusthuri Srikewal