By Emily Siziba
In line with the Pink October breast awareness month, Midlands State University (MSU)’s health services department conducted a breast cancer screening and awareness campaign at it’s Gweru and Zvishavane campuses from 22 to 27 october to raise awareness in partnership with the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC), while the face to face meeting was held at Zvishavane campus on the 27th.
In his presentation the deputy director Health Services at Zvishavane campus Dr Wilson Mupariwa said breast cancer starts in the breasts and is most common in women but can also be found in men.
“Breast cancer can happen in both men and women but is most common in females.
“Risk factors and possible causes of breast cancer include advanced age, personal history of breast conditions, family history of breast cancer, obesity and excessive drinking of alcohol,” Dr Mupariwa said.
Speaking at the same occassion Mr Shewell Service Hove from ZNFPC said it is important for men to also attend breast cancer awareness campaigns as they play a crucial role in helping to detect their spouses’ breast lumps, a common symptom of breast cancer.
“Thickening or swelling of part of the breast irritation or dimpling of breast skin redness, flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast, nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood and change in the size or the shape of the breast are some of the symptoms of breast cancer.”
Mr Khuzane Mahlangu from MSU Health department emphasized that it is important to do regular self checks for breast cancer before the signs or symptoms of the disease worsen.
“A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast which is the best way to detect breast cancer early when it is still very easy to treat and before it cause symptoms.
“Having regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer,” he said.
Mrs Rogwaja mentioned a number of ways which can prevent causes of breast cancer as get to and stay at a healthy weight, being physically active following a healthy eating pattern, also it is best not to drink alcohol.
Meanwhile, according to the research, breast cancer can be treated in several ways which includes surgery and operation where doctors cut out cancer tissue, chemotherapy using special medicines to shrink or kill the cancer cells, hormonal therapy as well as radiation therapy using high-energy rays (similar to x-rays) to kill the cancer cells.
The incidence of breast cancer in Zimbabwe is in the rise, more than thousand of women have died in january this year and the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer has risen sharply .