Section 2: Awareness and Prevention

The case for early detection is very clear: In South Africa, the majority of women with breast cancer are diagnosed when their disease is already advanced, resulting in five-year survival rates from 40% to as low as just 10%.

If, however, they lived elsewhere, where early detection and basic treatment are both available and accessible, their five-year survival rate for early localised breast cancer would be a comparative more than 80%.

It is exactly for this reason – to avoid unnecessary suffering and death – that improving early detection rates is top of the list of strategic objectives for the country’s new Breast Cancer Control Policy.

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