The gynecological-obstetric and pediatric hospital of Yaoundé (Hgopy) launched an initiative to teach women how to perform breast self-examination. This is part of a special screening campaign for women’s cancers that is scheduled from October 10 to 20.
According to specialists, breast self-examination can help spot abnormalities that can cause breast cancer, the most common cancer in Cameroon and the leading cause of death by cancer in women. The number of deaths is estimated at nearly 2,000 a year.
Medical sources agree that the chances of curing the patient are greater when the disease is detected earlier. For Breast cancer, chances are 90% according to specialists.
However, most of the time in Cameroon, when patients with this disease (which also affects men, although cases are rare) arrive in health facilities, they are already at an advanced stage and the care they are offered is only palliative.
"We noticed that people are reluctant to get tested. And very often, they wait until the disease is at an advanced stage before rushing to the health facilities,” said Professor Esther Meka, head of the gynecological and pediatric oncology department at Hgopy.
One of the objectives of the campaign in this hospital is to raise awareness among women on the importance of breast self-examination and encourage them to examine themselves at home regularly. The month of October is dedicated to raising awareness of breast Cancer. The movement is known as Pink October.