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04/02/2017: City of Joburg creates awareness on World Cancer Day
04 February 2017
World Cancer Day takes place on 04 February annually, under the theme ‘We can. I can.’ The aim is to explore how everyone – as a collective or as individuals – can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer.
The City of Johannesburg Health Department creates awareness on the prevention of the different types of cancer, and encourages people to go and get screened at the clinics.
Cancer is a public health problem worldwide. It affects all people: young and old; men; women and children. Cancer is also potentially the most preventable and curable of all the major life-threatening diseases.
Globally, more than 10 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year and it is estimated that there will be 15 million new cases by 2020
Chronic diseases including cancer are on the increase globally and in South Africa, due to unhealthy lifestyle habits.
“Many health problems are caused by lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol, following an unhealthy eating plan and not protecting your skin from the sun”, Cllr Mpho Phalatse, the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development in the City of Johannesburg.
Everybody should be aware of the warning signs of cancer and it is important to take note of any unexplained changes to your body, such as:
• The sudden appearance of a lump in the breast or elsewhere in the body,
• Unusual bleeding or discharge from anybody orifice, (an opening, particularly one in the body such as a nostril or the anus),
• Change in normal bladder or bowel actions,
• A sore that does not heal easily,
• Indigestion, inability or difficulty in swallowing,
• Obvious change of a mole or wart,
•  Nagging chronic cough or hoarseness of voice.
In some cases your symptoms won't be related to cancer and will be caused by other, non-cancerous health conditions.
Any unexplained changes you notice require attention and so it is important to consult with your health practitioner to seek timely advice.
“The best way to prevent cancer is by adopting a healthy lifestyle. A person’s cancer risk can be reduced with healthy choices like, limiting alcohol use, protecting your skin from the sun and avoiding indoor tanning, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, keeping a healthy weight, being physically active and practising responsible sexual behaviour”, emphasises Cllr Phalatse.
Prostate cancer is the number one cancer diagnosed amongst South African men followed by lung, oesophagus, colon/rectum and bladder cancer.
Amongst women, the most prevalent is breast cancer followed by cervical, uterus, colorectal and oesophageal cancer.
It is important to detect cancer early by conducting regular self-examinations and going for regular medical check-ups.
Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women of all races, with a lifetime risk of 1 in 29 in South Africa, according to the 2011 National Cancer Registry (NCR).
This risk can be reduced through regular self and clinical breast examinations. Many breast lumps are harmless, but they should all be checked.
It is important for women to do monthly breast self-examinations and to go for regular clinical breast examinations.
Symptom-free women from the age of 40, should go for a mammogram (a special x-ray to detect lumps in the breast), every year.
Cervical Cancer is the second most common cancer among South African women. One in 43 women in South Africa will be diagnosed with Cervical Cancer (NCR 2011).
Having regular pap smears can reduce the risk by early identification of abnormal cells in the cervix that could develop into Cervical Cancer.
All women should go for Pap smears at least every three years to detect abnormal cells early.
Early identification by conducting a monthly “Spot the Spot” checkup can improve prognosis and decrease complications of Skin Cancer.
Always seek medical advice as soon as possible when concerned about a particular spot on your skin.
Check your skin carefully every month and ask a family member or friend to examine your back and the top of your head.
For more information please contact:
Nonhlakanipho Nedzamba
Stakeholder Liaison Officer
Office of the MMC – Health and Social Development – Dr Mpho Phalatse
Tel: (011) 407 - 6725
Cell: 072 596 9508
E-mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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