The breast cancer awareness campaign which the Cancer Association of Zimbabwe (CAZ) held the whole of October received an overwhelming response with 1 828 people going for the examination at its head office in Harare.
CAZ information research and evaluation officer Lovemore Makurirofa said the response this year was a significant increase from 1 200 people who participated in the campaign last year. “I think this year it was very overwhelming and a lot of people came for breast examinations at the Cancer Association of Zimbabwe in Harare,” he said.
Of the 1 828 people screened, at least 205 or 11.21 percent were found with abnormalities and were referred for further examinations or diagnosis. The CAZ has been holding the breast cancer awareness campaigns for the past five years in Harare and the number of participants is only picking up now after a break during the Covid-19 lockdown period.
“Because of Covid-19 we could not hold these campaigns so it’s like, starting from last year we are actually recovering from the Covid-19 that threatened our programmes in the past years.”
Makurirofa said the majority of the participants during the breast awareness campaigns were usually women compared to men, adding that men mostly participated in prostate cancer awareness campaigns.
Breast cancer is a cancer that develops from a breast tissue so both men and women can develop it, but the risk is higher among women.
A Zimbabwe National Cancer Registry report noted that in year 2018, breast cancer contributed 8 percent to the total cancer incidences and 7 percent to the total cancer mortality in the country.
It is the second most common cancer among women but in men it is not very common, the ratio likely to be 1 man to 100 women.
“This is not to say men should not participate in the breast cancer awareness campaigns, they are supposed to participate. We have also noted that the few cases that develop in men are likely to be very severe, so men need to be taught about breast cancer as well.”
CAZ plans to hold awareness campaigns in other towns and cities, as the current breast cancer screening drives are only being held in the capital. The association offers a number of services which includes cancer awareness, cancer early detection services such as screening for prostate, cervical and breast cancers, as well as counselling at its offices in Harare.
Source Zimbabwe Situation