12:49 am - Sunday 20 April 2014

Rwanda’s women hope for a breast cancer free world

By Patrick Muneza - Thu Oct 27, 3:25 pm

With limited awareness, screening or treatment of breast cancer in Rwanda, half of the women diagnosed are at the late stages of breast cancer.

It is important for females to be healthy and understand the elements of a healthy lifestyle. Cancer is an over-development of the body’s own cells.

In reference to the English proverb, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride’ every woman in Rwanda strives for a breast cancer free world.

Nadia Uwamahoro, the Managing Director of Data Systems Limited, says there is need to promote free consultation on breast cancer.

“It should be compulsory for every young woman to go for a breast cancer check up. If this is greatly encouraged, the numbers of late detected breast cancer cases will reduce,” Uwamahoro said.

She further explains that, recruiting young women in all sectors of the country as advocates in the breast cancer campaign, will curb the disease.

If detected early, breast cancer is treatable. The procedure includes; a surgery performed when the tumor is localized, followed by chemotherapy (when indicated), radiotherapy and adjuvant hormonal therapy for ER positive tumors.

Since there are no studies that show how women can prevent themselves from contracting breast cancer, it’s important to educate girls and women to go for check up any time they feel a rare lump in their breasts. Younger women are dying of breast cancer in most developing countries.

The early detection of breast cancer and its treatment increases the chances of surviving. Breast Cancer remains the second leading cause of death among women after lung cancer.

According to Fiona Kamikazi Rutagengwa, renowned professional model, the government and health organizations should broaden sensitization about the disease.

“In most cases its women in rural areas who don’t know about breast cancer that are affected. They only learn about the disease in its late stages because they were attributing its symptoms to other diseases,” Rutagengwa said adding that, “with a few specialists managing such diseases, it becomes more urgent to increase the level of awareness.”

Therefore, early detection resulting from increased awareness, mass screening and treatment leads to increased survival rates.

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