Officials from Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) on Friday, 18 October 2019, showed their support towards Breast Cancer Awareness Month, by wearing a pink ribbon and/or a pink t-shirt on the day.
Breast cancer is known as one of the most common cancers among South African women and the initiative is commemorated annually during the month of October, to create awareness about the illness.
On their arrival at the office in the morning, each employee was welcomed with a breast cancer awareness pamphlet, a packet of sweet treats and the pink ribbon. Later the morning, Breast Cancer information sessions were conducted by the representatives from the Department of Health, where after staff members used the opportunity to either consult with the health professionals or underwent clinical breast examinations and were taught how to do breast self examinations. This does not only apply to females, but also men. Although male breast cancer is rare, the Breast Health Foundation recorded that in South Africa, 1-3% of all breast cancers happen in men.
Signs of the illness may include: swelling of all or part of the breast, skin irritation or dimpling, breast pain, nipple pain or the nipple turning inward, redness, “scaliness” or thickening of the nipple or breast skin, a nipple discharge other than breast milk, and a lump in the underarm area.
However, with all these signs evident, early detection of this cancer can result in the effective treatment of the disease. The following advice are also provided to patients or all women around the world, to change their lifestyles, follow a healthy diet, do regular exercise, stop smoking, if using alcohol, lessen the use thereof. Women are also advised to have their children before the age of 30 and to breastfeed their babies.
According to Ms Shandré Abrahams, Employee Wellness Practitioner of GRDM, a total of sixty-two officials participated in the day’s programme to either attend the session for breast cancer-related consultation and/or inspections, blood pressure screening, screening of sugar levels and HIV tests.
Ms Abrahams extended a word of gratitude to all health practitioners including: Ms Patience Shipalone (awarded “Best Caring Nurse” at the Western Cape Department of Health), Jacoleen Fred and Katrina Elbrecht (Department of Health), Ms Leachia Lee (George Municipality), Ms Julia Maki (FAMSA) and Ms Charlene Herniel (Registered Nurse) who dedicated their time and effort to assist with the awareness programme.