Routine check-up results in early detection

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

Popular actress Lillian Dube has joined the long list of women celebrities affected by breast cancer.

Dube was diagnosed with breast cancer last month after a routine check-up. The bubbly and outspoken actress, renowned for her role as Sister Bettina in the television drama Soul City, is expected to undergo surgery to remove the lump in her breast on Friday.

Dube, who also stars in Muvhango, has turned her life-threatening discovery into a learning curve. She wants to use her experience and diagnosis to educate women about cancer.

"I discovered that I had breast cancer through a routine check-up. The first mammogram didn't pick it up. It was only when I went again the following year that the radiographer noticed it. I was sent for a biopsy which revealed the cancerous cells. Because early detection is key, I appeal to women over the age of 40 to go for annual mammograms," said Dube.

Breast cancer is the most common women's cancer in South Africa. It is estimated that one in 27 women are diagnosed with the disease and more than 3000 women die of the disease each year in this country.

There is treatment for breast cancer, but it depends at what stage it is detected. Treatment might include surgically removing the lump.

Dube is one of the few lucky women who detected it in its early stages. Singer and dancer Chomee also detected the cancer early and had the lump surgically removed last July. Singer Busi Mhlongo is currently battling breast cancer.