Breast cancer

Updated 08 November 2017

Living with breast cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime? Share your story with us.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime?

According to the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) breast cancer is the leading female cancer in South Africa. Cancer of the breast, however, is not just a female problem and more and more often there are reports of male breast cancer too.

Even though currently breast cancer cannot be prevented, it can be diagnosed much earlier than before. Early detection of breast cancer is therefore key. It is important to do a breast self-examination at least once a month. Early diagnosis of breast cancer is also possible with routine mammography and early biopsies of suspicious lesions.

Breast cancer can affect anyone. If you have not been diagnosed with breast cancer yourself at some time in your life, the chances are good that you have a friend or relative affected by this disease.

Two Health24 users have shared their breast cancer stories:

Colette Dick: "In 1998 I was diagnose with breast cancer in my right breast. I had six chemotherapy sessions, follow by lumpectomy and six weeks radiation. Cancer came back after five years 2003, had mastectomy on my right breast. Cancer came back 2009 under my right armpit although glands were removed in 1998. Had operation, cancer  was removed, had another six months chemotherapy session. Ever since I’m clean,. In 2011, I had breast reduction on  my left breast due to heaviness  (breast was to big) and had effect on my back… And it makes me a survivor of 14 years."

Verusha Singh: "Hi, my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer at the first stage. She has been for chemo and has removed one of her breast. For her safety she also removed her womb. My mum is now healthy and free of it. Thanks to the Lord above!"

Have you been affected by breast cancer?  Email us your breast cancer story and we will publish it on Health24.

(Breast cancer awareness pic from Shutterstock)


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Ask the Expert

Breast cancer expert

Dr Gudgeon qualified in Birmingham, England, in 1968. She has more than 40 years experience in oncology, and in 1994 she founded her practice, Cape Breast Care, where she treats benign and malignant breast cancers. Dr Boeddinghaus obtained her qualification at UCT Medical School in 1994 and her MRCP in London in 1998. She has worked extensively in the field of oncology and has a special interest in the hormonal management of breast cancer. She now works with Dr Gudgeon at Cape Breast Care. Read more.

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