October is Breast Cancer Month: Citizens Urged to Have Their Breasts Checked
…both male and females, young and old, are vulnerable to breast cancer. The Filter Clinic, situated within Manzini Municipality premises, offers breast cancer services free of charge
The month of October is breast cancer awareness month. Whilst citizens are encouraged to periodically undergo breast cancer screening, even outside of October, more people are encouraged to visit the nearest health facility for screening during breast cancer awareness month. According to the Eswatini Breast and Cervical Cancer Network, breast cancer is when unhealthy cells grow out of control in the breast tissue. It also manifests as tumors which appear as lumps in the breast and may also break away and grow in other parts of the body such as under the arms (armpits). It is important to mention that breast cancer is not only associated with females but it has also been detected in males. It is also important to mention that breast cancer does not only affect adults over 40 years old but, lately, it has been detected even amongst young people aged around 20 years old. According to information from the Ministry of Health (Kingdom of Eswatini), breast cancer is ranked 4th in terms of cancer prevalence in the Kingdom of Eswatini. It closely follows, prostate and Kaposi sarcoma whilst cervix tops them all. Information from the World Health Organisation is to the effect that breast cancer treatment can be highly effective, especially when the disease is identified early, hence the need to have oneself screened regularly. Breast cancer can be detected either through self-examination or through a visit to the doctor. The Municipal Council of Manzini, in partnership with Eswatini Breast and Cervical Cancer Network, provides breast cancer services at the Manzini Filter Clinic which is situated within the Municipality’s office premises. These services are offered free of charge every Tuesday between 9am and 2pm. Information gathered is that 10 percent of patients who visit the Manzini Filter Clinic for breast cancer services are men whilst the remainder are women. The Municipal Council of Manzini would like to thank every man and women who has had themselves breast cancer screened. It is the right thing to do. The Municipality also encourages parents to bring their young daughters to the Filter Clinic for screening.
…SELF EXAMINE MONTHLY, VISIT THE DOCTOR IF YOU NOTICE CHANGES
According to the Eswatini Breast and Cervical Cancer Network, not all lumps are cancerous but if one detects any changes in their breasts it is important that they immediately seek professional assistance. Citizens are also urged to self-examine at least once a month. The following is how to self-examine;
- Whilst in the shower or bath, raise one arm behind your head and use the flattened fingers of the other hand to feel for lumps or bumps. Start with the nipple and move outwards in a circular pattern; finishing under your armpits. Do the same on the opposite breast.
- Another option, especially for large and low hanging breasts, is to lie down with one arm behind your head, use the flattened fingers of the opposite hand to feel for any lumps or bumps in the breast or armpits.
- Alternatively, you can just stand in front of a mirror and look at each breast separately. Raise your arms behind your head and look out for any changes in your skin or in the size, shape, colour or skin texture of your breasts or nipples. However, it is advisable not to jump into conclusions without seeking professional advice. This is because it is normal for breasts to change shape and size at different stages of one’s life; be it during menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight gain or loss as well as menopause. However, if you feel a lump, skin dimpling, change of skin colour or texture, pulling in of the nipple or you notice a clear or bloody fluid coming out of the nipple; those could be the symptoms.
…HOW TO REDUCE BREAST CANCER RISK
According to the Eswatini Breast and Cervical Cancer Network (EBCCN), it is difficult to state what causes breast cancer. It can be caused by genetic and family history factors. However, the risks thereof can be reduced through changes in lifestyle. According to EBCCN, the following help reduce the risk factors…
- Monthly breast self-examination
- Reporting any observed abnormalities to a doctor
- Annual breast health checks with a breast health professional
- Mammogram (for women over 40 years old) every two to three years
- Eating a healthy, low fat diet
- Avoiding excessive alcohol intake and smoking
- Exercising regularly (for example, three times a week)
- Checking your HIV status
…STAKEHOLDERS, EMPLOYEES GET EXCITING HAMPERS DURING CUSTOMER SERVICE WEEK
The Municipal Council of Manzini visited a number of stakeholders in their offices and homes during Customer Service Week and presented them with exciting gift hampers in appreciation of their loyalty and support. Employee representatives were also presented with the hampers. The following photos were taken during the gifts presentation exercise…