Thousands diagnosed with cancer this year

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Statistics by The Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) have revealed that 100 000 South Africans are diagnosed with cancer every year.

Cancer is any malignant growth or tumour caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division. If not stopped, it may spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system or bloodstream.

The statistics indicate that only six out of 10 South Africans survive the disease. One in four South Africans is affected by cancer through diagnosis of a family, friends or self. Of these cancers, 90 per cent are caused by environmental and lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet and exercise.

The most common cancer in women is breast, cervical, colorectal and uterus cancer. The most common cancer in men is prostate, colorectal, lung and kaposi sarcoma.

Some of the warning signs for cancer include a change in wart or mole, continued fever, nagging cough, chronic pain in bones or any other part of the body, enduring fatigue, nausea or vomiting, repeated infection or inflammation.

Many people infected with cancer in the country go through major financial expenses to treat the disease. The South African Medical Journal revealed that drugs like Ipilimumab cost R1 million and Trastuzumab R25 000 per treatment. A mastectomy including Trastuzumab costs R500 000, and immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma comes at R1 million.

Director of Region A, Abigail Ndlovu said, unfortunately, there was no hospital in the region that catered for cancer patients. “When we have a patient with cancer in our hospitals, we refer them to provincial hospitals where they receive assistance.”

How many public hospitals in Gauteng do you know that treat cancer? Tweet us @MidrandReporter

Lungile Dube

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