The Namibia National Cancer Registry (NNCR) has recorded over 600 new cases of cancer in Namibian.
According to the Association 368 cases are breast cancer and 246 are of cervical cancer.
Breast cancer is the number 1 cancer amongst women in Namibia. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer, are older than 40 years. However, breast cancer can also occur in younger women.
Speaking during a pre-recorded special message of hope for the 11th Annual Hats & Roses Ladies Breakfast, the First Lady of the Republic of Namibia, Monica Geingos stated that, “This is a collective fight – it takes the diagnosis or loss of a loved one to take the message of early detection serious. Let’s talk about cancer – talk to your mother, your sister, your daughter, your colleagues and talk to you domestic worker! We must all start to talk about this disease”.
According to the Namibia National Cancer Registry (NNCR, the indication for the 2015 and 2016 statistics on cancers affecting women in Namibia, led to the conclusion that more women in Namibia are diagnosed with 2 leading forms of cancer including breast and cervical cancer.
The statistics show that 373 Namibian women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 – while 9 men were positively diagnosed as well during the same year for breast cancer. 241 cases of cervical cancer were reported in 2014.
Risk factors that could lead to having breast cancer are, early menstruation before teens, family cancer history, late menopause, long term hormone replacement therapy, and women with no children or having a first child after 30 years. What you can do to help prevent breast cancer is to get to know your breasts, breast size and feel, do monthly breast self-examination once a month, or a week after your last menstrual day, go for clinical breast examinations once a year with your health care provider and women over the age of 40 can go for mammogram- an x-ray of the breast.
The signs and symptoms of breast cancer are having a lump in the breast or armpit, a swelling in the armpit, an unusual increase in breast size, nipple retraction, nipple discharge – bloody/ brownish change in the skin around nipple, one breast lower than the other – nipples at different levels, puckering of skin of breast (dimples/orange), redness around nipple that itches or is scaly.
According to Rolf Hansen, the CEO of the Namibia National Registry, people need to start making changes over the things that are in their control to prevent cancer. Knowing the early signs of cancer and going for screening tests, because fear, ignorance and complacency lessen survival rates.
According to the Cancer Association of Namibia, Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women in Namibia. The main cause of cervical cancer (almost 80%) is the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which is transmitted through sexual intercourse and intimate skin to skin contact. However, it is a cancer that can be detected and partially prevented; cervical cancer develops in the cervix, the neck of the uterus.