Breast cancer accounts for more than a quarter of new cancer cases in SA

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Breast cancer accounted for more than a quarter of new cancer cases among South African women in 2020.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) more than 15 000 new cases were identified last year.

October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month and industry experts maintain that early detection dramatically improves chances of survival.

Chairperson of the Breast Imaging Society of South Africa, Professor Jackie Smilg says, “The reasons for this are multi-factorial but may be contributed to by the fact that South Africa does not have a national screening programme regarding breast cancer and mammography.”

“So we are missing out on the opportunity to find much of this disease in the early phases. Much of the disease in breast cancer that we encounter in the South African population is in the late stages of the disease. When the disease has spread from beyond the breast into the rest of the body and this causes significantly poorer survival rates,” says Smilg.

Below is the interview with Professor Jackie Smilg: