'Breast cancer survival rate is high if detected early'

More women in South Africa die from breast cancer than from any other type of cancer simply because they lack support and see doctors too late.

More women in South Africa die from breast cancer than from any other type of cancer simply because they lack support and see doctors too late.

Samantha Galliet, breast cancer survivor and founder of PinkLink, a breast cancer advocacy organisation, says it's important that women do regular checkups.

Galliet says that since the launch of the 5 Minutes for Life campaign, which was introduced early this year to help women assess their potential risk in developing cancer, more than 5000 women have taken the test.

The campaign, which is a web-based test, has five questions based on professional medical assessments on circumstances that can impact on a woman's risk of developing breast cancer through lifestyle.

Galliet says: "Breast cancer is very curable if detected early. Chances of survival are up to 70percent in the first and second phases of the illness. But, chances of survival drop to 30percent if diagnosed in the third phase. PinkLink urges women to be responsible. They need to realise that certain aspects of their lifestyle, such as stress, smoking, high-fat diets and alcohol can impact on their chances of developing breast cancer.

"By being responsible for your breast health and realising that lifestyle plays an important part in the risk you expose yourself to, we can take breast cancer by the horns and defeat it.

"Get tested regularly and self-examine as often as you can. After all, the life you save might just be your own."

X