Better breast cancer services urgently needed

November 8, 2007

Better breast cancer services urgently needed


At the close of breast cancer awareness month, cancer organisations say proper testing and treatment services for breat cancer are completely inadequate.

Breast cancer organisations are concerned that early detection and treatment services are severely lacking in South Africa where over 3 000 women die from this disease annually.

The Breast Cancer Advocacy Coalition, which includes the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), Reach for Recovery, the Breast Health Foundation and PinkLink, have sent a memorandum to the health department asking it to improve services.

The coalition calls for a comprehensive breast health service that is equitable, available, affordable and accessible to all women in South Africa.

There needs to be a national cancer control policy that provides breast cancer service guidelines and protocols for prevention, early detection, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care, says CANSAs Martha Molete.

The coalition also wants a population-based cancer registry to be set up and all categories of health practitioners to be trained so that they are are sensitised to breast cancer and provide an effective and efficient service at the respective levels of care.

The coalition is concerned about rural cancer patients and has asked the department to decentralise treatment options for rural based breast cancer patients with regards to chemotherapy and radiation, through a public private partnerships.

October marked breast cancer awareness month. Health-e News Service.

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