It can be potentially lifesaving to get used to the way your breasts normally look and feel. In Mzansi breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting 1 in 27 women of all races. On this episode of Sisters Without Shame, Dr Liana Roodt who is the founding surgeon of Project Flamingo, shares her insights – from risks to treatment and management, and why you should take breast cancer screenings more seriously.
Approximately 19.4 million women aged 15 years and older live at risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. A simple monthly breast self-exam to check your breasts for lumps or anything that seems unusual can save your life.
Roodt says that it is important for you to know what is normal for your body as early detection improves the chances of successful treatment.
“You don’t need anybody else to do that, you don’t need a medical aid, you don’t need anybody’s permission. It is just you looking after yourself and knowing what is going on in your own body,” she says.
Roodt, a rare combination of dreamer and doer, started Project Flamingo in 2010 after being deeply moved by the desperate need in the public health sector.
Know the risks
The biggest risk factor for breast cancer is being a woman, says Roodt.
While communities have rallied around breast cancer patients with emotional support and funding, dealing with breast cancer can be a lonely road. Breast cancer remains a frightening diagnosis, says Roodt.
“I think for some women it is largely driven by fear and denial, and they actually know that something is wrong but they are so scared, they are so unsure at what the options would be if they actually get a diagnosis that they kind of go into denial and try to ignore the problem,” she says.
On this episode Dr Roodt further expands on:
- Treatment available to South African women and comparisons to treatment in other countries.
- How food can play a role in risks.
Listen to the full interview on Sisters Without Shame
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