lillian dube on the mend after op

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

Actress Lillian Dube has urged women to undergo regular checks on their breasts so that they can detect signs of cancer early.

Dube, 62, had a lump successfully removed from her right breast last Friday. She is recovering at her Johannesburg home after the cancerous lump was removed.

She was discharged from hospital on Monday. She said she was surprised to learn younger women were being diagnosed with breast cancer.

"I used to think that women in their 40s were in danger but I was admitted with young women of 25," she said.

Ironically, she played cervical cancer survivor Sister Bettina in the long-running television series Soul City.

"I didn't know how to react when I found out about the cancer, I was stunned," she said.

Dube was diagnosed with breast cancer last month after a routine check-up. She said a check-up today would reveal whether she would need further treatment after the surgery.

She was grateful to everyone who had prayed for her recovery.

"I am doing so well. Why wouldn't I be bubbly when I'm so loved?" she said.

Cancer Association of South Africa spokesman Martha Molete advised young women to check for lumps, changes and pain on their breasts.

During an interview on SAfm yesterday, Dube said she felt no pain and that her cleavage was showing nicely.

Molete said women over the age of 40 should have yearly mammograms, or on the advice of their doctors.

She said women who had relatives with breast cancer, started menstruating early, or were overweight, went through menopause late and who did not breast feed their children, were at "high risk" to get cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common form in South African women. 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.

Molete said breast cancer was treatable but the type of treatment for it depended on the stage at which it was detected.