Shot in the arm for cancer association

HARARE - Cancer Association of Zimbabwe (Caz) yesterday received a $10 000 cash boost from delegates who attended a “Pink Breakfast” meeting in Harare yesterday.

The well-attended female-dominated fundraising breakfast meeting was sponsored by Old Mutual and organised by Competitive Edge and Rotary Club of Highlands.

Proceeds were handed over to Caz.

Central African Building Society (CABS) marketing executive Matilda Nyathi said it was her organisation’s business philosophy to support initiatives that contribute towards the betterment of societies.

“It is in this light that we commit ourselves to breast cancer awareness initiatives as a key component to saving lives and indeed minimising costs of treatment of cancer resulting from late detection of the disease,” she said.

Nyathi said cancer publicity should become a way of life so as to increase appreciation of the disease in Zimbabwe and save lives.

“May I humbly call on the media to not only confine their stories on breast cancer to the month of October, but to tackle it in different publications throughout the year,” she said.

Breast cancer awareness month is an annual international health campaign organised by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.

The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.

Zimplats spokesperson Busi Chindove said Zimbabweans in their generality should pool resources to create a sound support system for cancer patients and affiliate organisations.

“They are people who give out there but if we all are to form a critical mass of givers, the world will be different. Ask yourself what you are giving towards this cause?”

This year’s theme is ‘Early Detection Saves Lives’.

Lyn Mpunzwana from Caz encouraged healthy eating as a way of reducing chances of becoming cancer patient by 30 to 40 percent.

She said women were very ignorant about their health, a situation that has resulted in a lot of them dying.

“With ladies, when our children or husband falls sick we run around but when we are sick we rush to take paracetamol. Thirty to 40 percent of these cancers can be cured so do self-cancer examinations,” said Mpunzwana.

Breast cancer self-examinations are done using the palm to feel for an unusual lump and eyes to look out for any discharge, change of colour or nipple position for five minutes on a monthly basis.

Mpunzwana, citing figures from the Cancer Registry, said the over 450 breast cancer cases were reported in 2009 with four percent of the patients being male. -
Wendy Muperi

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