Breast health

Nora Kewana, left, who is enrolled at HH as a nursing assistant, with a patient.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Helderberg Hospice (HH) would like to pay tribute to all in the community who are living with breast cancer.

HH cares for breast cancer patients, men and women, both at home and in their specialised 24-hour support centre.

Fortunately, early detection and referral can save lives, and HH recommends that you do self-examination of breasts on a monthly basis.

Symptoms to watch out for are puckering of the skin of the breast; a lump under the nipple or areola; an inverted nipple (turned inward); swelling of the breast tissue; a rash around the nipple; discharge or bleeding from the nipple; and a swelling or lump in the armpit.

An annual mammogram should be done between the ages of 40 and 54, and every two years for 55 years and older. Get treatment early if you suspect you may be affected.

Not only is treatment more effective in the early stages, it will help to reduce pain and suffering, and loss of life.

Helderberg Hospice has a free breast cancer pamphlet – for a copy, call 021 852 4608 or email nursing@helderberghospice.org.za

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