Nozipho Dlamini, tel: (012) 314-2214 - Govt Communication and Information Systems
Spokesperson Lindiwe Khuzwayo said this initiative, as part of Women's Month,
would not be once off.
The country also observes Cancer Prevention Week starting today, until next
Monday, 7 August.
"We urge and encourage women to go for regular screenings before it is too
late, cervical cancer is a preventable disease. Yet in
it is estimated that approximately one in every 29 women will develop cancer of
the cervix in her lifetime," said Ms Khuzwayo.
She said cervical cancer was one of the leading killers of women in the
province, adding that during this Women's Month, various activities and
campaigns were planned throughout the country to raise awareness and create
platforms to discuss issues that affected women.
The campaign has been developed to promote a woman to woman education drive.
"The objective is that every woman will tell at least one other woman about
cervical cancer and the importance of a pap smear, and ensure that the other
woman, if over the age of 30 years, has access to the service."
The Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) has also urged all South Africans
to join the fight against cancer and look out for early warning signs of the
They include constant fever pain that would not go away, especially in a limb,
knee, shoulder or stomach, early morning headache with vomiting, an abdominal
mass or lump.
According to the association's National Executive Director Sue Janse van
Rensburg each year, over 60 000 people in the country are diagnosed with cancer,
with one in four South Africans likely to be affected in their lifetime.
The leading cancers for South African women are breast, cervical and colorectal
cancer while the leading cancers in men are prostate, lung and colorectal
Cansa offers a range of services to patients and their families including
counselling, support groups, facilitation of home-based care, coping kits, wig
banks, and interim homes for out-of-town patients undergoing treatment in
During the Cancer Prevention Week staff will increase awareness throughout the
country by promoting healthy lifestyles and available services through
presentations, talk shows and exhibitions.
"Our focus for the next two years is to expand our prevention programmes
and patient care services to reach the increasing number of South Africans who
are touched by cancer," said Ms Van Rensburg. - BuaNews