In line with the ‘Pink October’ Breast Awareness Month, the Midlands State University’s Health Services Department conducted a Breast Cancer Screening and Awareness Campaign at its Gweru and Zvishavane Campuses on the 22nd and 27th of October 2021 respectively to raise awareness on breast cancer issues.
The Health Services Department partnered with the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) to raise awareness on breast cancer issues.
In his presentation, MSU Zvishavane Campus Deputy Director Health Services Dr Wilson Mupariwa said breast cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the breasts and is most common in women but can also be found in men.
“Breast cancer can happen in both males and females but is most common in females.
Risk factors and possible causes of breast cancer include advanced age, personal history of breast conditions, family history of breast cancer, obesity and excessive drinking of alcohol,” Dr Mupariwa said.
Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council Youth Health Advisor Mr Shewell Service Hove advised men to also attend breast cancer awareness campaigns as they play a crucial role in helping detect their spouses’ breast lumps, a common symptom of breast cancer.
“Thickening or swelling of part of the breast, irritation or dimpling of breast skin redness, flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast, nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood and also change in the size or the shape of the breast are some of the symptoms of breast cancer,” he said.
Mr Khuzane Mahlangu of the MSU Health Services Department emphasised that it is important to do regular self-checks for breast cancer before the signs or symptoms of the disease worsen.
“A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. It is the best way to detect breast cancer early when it is still very easy to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms. Having regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer,” he said.
In her presentation, Ms Winnie Rogwaja, a Nurse with MSU Zvishavane Campus Health Services Department recommended maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active and following a healthy diet as the ways in which one can prevent breast cancer.