A Stitch in Time Saves 9: Citizens Urged To Consider Breast Cancer Check-Up This Month and Beyond
The old English proverb, “A stitch in time saves nine” is a good reminder that postponing to tomorrow what should be done today will always cause us more trouble in the end. In the case of a tear in one’s favorite jersey it might mean more work to fix it or the cost of buying a new one if the tear is not mended. But in the case of human health, the consequences can be detrimental to life if the right steps are not taken at the right time. With October being International Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Municipal Council of Manzini believes there’s no better time than this to remind citizens of the vibrant city and surrounding areas about the need to regularly screen for breast and cervical cancer. Of course, this is not to say one needs to wait till October to screen for breast and cervical cancer but this commemorative month is used globally to remind each other to do yearly checkups.
The specific cause of cancer remains unknown hence the importance to be proactive about one’s health – acquire knowledge and do one’s yearly screening. The Eswatini Breast and Cervical Cancer Network (EBCCN) plays a leading role in the promotion of breast and cervical cancer screening as well as education on the importance of early detection and seeking assistance immediately because a “stitch in time saves nine”. Unlike the hole in the jersey, ignoring a lump in one’s breast or unusual bleeding or pain in one’s lower abdomen can result in serious illness, major surgery and even death.
According to EBCCN Public Relations Officer Lwazi Dlamini, when one is diagnosed with breast cancer, it is natural to wonder what may have caused the disease.
“But no one knows the exact causes of breast cancer. Doctors seldom know why one woman develops breast cancer and another does not; and most women who have breast cancer will never be able to pinpoint an exact cause. What we do know is that breast cancer is always caused by damage to a cell’s DNA”, Dlamini says.
She adds: “Just as we look at our clothes regularly for damage, we need to familiarize ourselves with our bodies so that we are able to see and feel any important changes when they happen. For example, we all look at our face in the mirror most days and we are so familiar with its shape, the texture and tone of our face’s skin and the way our features look. When something changes on our face, be it an unwanted pimple or hair growing somewhere we don’t want, we notice it immediately. In the same way men and women alike should aim to become just as familiar with their breasts”.
The PRO adds that by examining one’s breasts monthly they get to know them the same way they know their face hence it becomes easy to notice any lump or change in the shape or tone of the skin that may alert one to a potential problem.
According to Dlamini, research shows that 80 percent of breast cancer lumps are detected through monthly self breast examination. She adds that women with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop breast cancer. A risk factor is something that may increase chances of getting a disease.
“Some risk factors such as drinking alcohol, smoking, unhealthy eating and lack of physical activity can be avoided. But most risk factors such as having a family history of breast cancer can’t be avoided. Having a risk factor does not mean that a woman will get breast cancer. Many women who have risk factors never develop breast cancer. The only surety is regular screening”, says Dlamini.
According to the Eswatini Breast and Cervical Cancer Network, breast cancer cannot be prevented but one can take steps to help detect it early. Take that step today and screen for breast and cervical cancer at your nearest health facility. Located within the Municipal Council of Manzini civic office premises, the Filter Clinic is one of the nearest facilities available for citizens of Manzini for purposes of breast cancer screening. The Clinic dedicates Tuesdays between 8am and 12Noon as a special day for breast cancer screening; and this is a standing arrangement throughout the year. Manzini citizens are encouraged to visit the clinic on Tuesdays (during and after break cancer month) and get screened so that symptoms can be detected as early as possible.
…BASIC FACTS ABOUT BREAST AND CERVICAL CANCER
The Eswatini Breast and Cervical Cancer Network, in conjunction with it’s partner the Municipal Council of Manzini, would like to share the following basic facts about breast and cervical cancer;
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women.
- On average, every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and one woman dies of breast cancer every 13 minutes.
- Men can also get breast cancer.
- Some men have also been diagnosed with breast cancer. Therefore, men are also encouraged to visit the nearest health facility for breast cancer screening. Remember; “a stitch in time saves nine”.
…BASIC FACTS ABOUT CERVICAL CANCER
- HPV is the number one cause of cervical cancer.
- Most cervical cancer cases are preventable.
- Cervical cancer is asymptomatic.
For more information and awareness, the Eswatini Breast and Cervical Cancer Network may be contacted during office hours on 2404 9270. Email; email@example.com
… YOU’RE INVITED: STAKEHOLDER BUDGET CONSULTATION MEETING TOMORROW MORNING
All stakeholders of the Municipal Council of Manzini including property owners, the business sector, government departments, non-governmental organisations, the sports fraternity, faith-based organisations, tenants, the public transport sector, people with disabilities, the education and health sector (both private and government) as well as any interested members of the public are invited to the Manzini Municipality stakeholder 2022/2023 budget consultation meeting. The meeting will be held tomorrow morning, 8am to 10am, at the Council Chamber. During the meeting, stakeholders will be educated about the Municipality’s participatory budgeting approach and also given an opportunity to influence the 2022/2023 municipal budget. Stakeholders are encouraged to keep time. All the laid down Covid-19 preventative protocols will be observed.