In commemoration of breast cancer awareness month, 3rd-year radiographer students paired with staff members from the radiographer department, held breast cancer activations in the Central and Katutura intermediate hospitals vicinity to educate the public on breast and cervical cancer.
This activation is an annual activity that the School of Allied Health organizes to encourage members of the public and hospital staff to get screened and demonstrate how to perform self-examinations.
“Breast Cancer is one of the leading causes of death amongst women in the Namibian society, therefore this activation aims to bring information to the people through the distribution of pamphlets and fliers”, said Moneni Shilumba, lecturer in the Radiographer Department.
She demystified the misconception that people should shy away from thinking about death once associated with cancer and elaborated that the early detection of cancer saves lives. “The sooner the cancer is detected the more options you have for treatment”, she remarked.
Another lecturer in the department, Luzanne Kalondo stated that “Radiographers are involved in doing mammography, which is a radiographic examination that looks at the breasts to provide diagnoses”.
Kalondo further added that there are other means to screen for breast cancer such as self-breast cancer examination – which is one of the aims of this activation, “to show people how to do self-examination and give them an opportunity to be assisted immediately by nurses present.
According to Mondjila Amkongo, who is also a radiographer lecturer and lead of the central hospital campaign group, treatment can only start with detection. “Regular checkups can reduce the chances of getting breast cancer, this can be done through the feeling of lumps or any irregularities around the breast areas or within the armpits. Most important though, is to visit the nearest hospital for regular checkups”.
4th year nursing student Jacob Jacob remarked that: “A lot of people are living with undetected cancer and as a result, the campaign aims to encourage the general public to make use of screening services at the nearest clinic or hospital”. His sentiments were further echoed by Theresa Musili, a 3rd-year radiography student, who emphasized that this awareness campaign aims to inform the public of the right time to get screened, and the importance of regular check-ups.
Shane Rivas, a fourth-year radiography student remarked: “We intend to conduct further research on women with breast cancer in Namibia, of which the results will assist the public with key information on how to reduce or avoid reaching an advance stage of cancer and what precautions to take”.
This activation was held in partnership with the assistance of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, BioDynamics, the KONGOM Group, and the Cancer Association of Namibia.