Published On: 10 November 2023

Ladies; prioritise your health! Empower yourself with knowledge and regular check-ups to ensure early detection

Dr Susan Ford, research doctor at our Clinical Research Unit, has underscored the importance of women’s health – a topic that deeply resonates with her. With women often serving as primary caregivers for family members, they sometimes overlook their own health. Susan stresses the value of women’s health, particularly in routine checks to detect cancers such as breast cancer and cervical cancer.

Breast cancer, apart from non-melanoma skin cancer, stands as the most prevalent cancer in women of all races, with a lifetime risk of 1 in 27 for South African women – according to the 2019 National Cancer Registry (NCR). Most of us know someone in our lives who has been affected by this disease. The message is clear: early detection provides hope, and cancer is a battle that can be won.

Guidelines recommend monthly self-examinations and annual breast exams during gynaecological visits. They include mammograms every one to two years, starting at 40 – or earlier if there’s a family history or previous breast lump. Family history increases the risk of breast cancer, making regular screenings even more crucial. It’s important to note that not all breast lumps are cancerous; many are benign and non-life-threatening. Still, any unusual changes should be promptly examined by a medical professional. Prioritising routine checks and early detection empowers women to take control of their health.

In October, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the THINK team joined hands in solidarity with survivors, fighters, and their families. Every donation contributed by our team will go toward supporting the outstanding work of the remarkable organisation, Reach for Recovery.

Ladies, always keep in mind that your well-being is your greatest asset! It’s essential to prioritise regular check-ups to ensure your health remains a top priority. Empower yourself with knowledge, regular screenings, and early detection, and together, we can beat breast cancer. Your health is your wealth, and it’s worth investing in.

1. Dr Susan Ford (2017), Living Healthy Lives, Breast Cancer Awareness
2. The Cancer Association of South Africa (2023); Breast Cancer
3. Department of Health; Clinical Guidelines for Breast Cancer Control and Management