BREAST CANCER AWARENESS: ACTober TO BOLSTER EFFORTS.
Breast cancer is a disease in which the cells in the breast grow out of control, leading to life-threatening degeneration. There are different types of breast cancer, but they are all deleterious when not detected early or managed appropriately.
Breast cancer has remained a throbbing headache for global health, with its global incidence figures still standing in millions. Ranking as the third-highest incident cancer cases, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women, also with non-negligible mortality in males; claiming about 181,004 lives with attributable 17.1 million disabilities globally in 2017 ¹.
Not faring better, Africa is burdened heavily with the disease; being directly challenged with the pervasiveness of the critical predisposing factors (obesity, high plasma glucose level, and excessive alcohol use) and its attendant consequences in cancer incidence —the highest rate regionally, recorded in the North and South African divisions².
In light of these challenges and the crying need to stem the tide of breast cancer, the month of October is dedicated annually to increasing campaigns and raising awareness about the scourge of breast cancer. This is aimed to upscale the knowledge about risk factors and prevention measures; to encourage regular screening which facilitates early diagnosis; to encourage the timely seeking of medical attention; to advocate improvement in quality of care for patients; to give hope and reassure patients undergoing therapy; to celebrate and motivate our conquerors, all towards abating the morbidity and mortality of breast cancer in our society.
As stewards of public health, our IPSF-AfRO family is committed, in our goals, to stand at the vanguard of this fight against breast cancer, and our calendar currently reads to us ACTober: a month of targeted activities to strengthen the effort in bearing light upon the killer disease that’s still silently ravaging our society. There’s still a huge gap in the knowledge of this disease in the populace about the risk factors and the right course of action to follow in case of a diagnosis, low participation in routine screening programs; and the critical risk factors are commonplace in society.
With an estimated 42million people living with Type 2 diabetes in Africa², where 23% of men and 39% of women are obese³ and with the increasing burden of harmful alcohol consumption in Africa4,—all of which increase the chance of developing breast cancer— the need to sound the alarm across the continent can not be overemphasized.
We, therefore, invite all IPSF-AfRO members and all health-inclined individuals to take up roles and join us in spreading the information to educate and create awareness about breast cancer throughout this month and beyond.
Taking advantage of our dynamic backgrounds, our informational posters will be posted on all our social media handles intimating us with our daily nuggets and we are counting on you to drive the message home by rebroadcasting and engaging others with the information learnt. We hope you’ll inform those not on social media as well.
Do find our social media handles below, follow up the updates if you haven’t been:
It is an #ACTober to bolster our efforts in beating breast cancer.
Join the #BreastCancerAwareness campaign.
- Li, N., Deng, Y., Zhou, L. et al. Global burden of breast cancer and attributable risk factors in 195 countries and territories, from 1990 to 2017: results from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. J Hematol Oncol 12, 140 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13045-019-0828-0
- International diabetes Federation, IDF DIABETES ATLAS eighth edition 2017, International diabetes Federation, Brussels, Belgium, Eighth edition, 2017, Report No
- WHO Regional Office for Africa. Diabetes. Accessed via: https://www.afro.who.int/health-topics/diabetes
- WHO Regional Office for Africa. ALCOHOL in Africa. https://www.afro.who.int/health-topics/alcohol