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The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade last month joined the world in commemorating Breast and Cervical Cancer Awareness month.

This was done through a Wellness Day held at the Ministry’s auditorium on October 18, 2018; which was subsequently followed by the Breast and Cervical Cancer walk to Sheba’s Breast on November 3, 2018. The walk; which is an annual event, was organised by the Breast Cancer Network.

During the Wellness Day attended by officers and heads of departments, Ministry of Health Cancer Registrar Nomalanga Hlophe capacitated staff about Breast and Cervical Cancer. Hlophe, who further did lessons on two other types of cancer i.e. Prostate and Lung, taught participants about symptoms to look out for early detection of breast cancer.

These were lumps and dimples on either of the breast; increase in the size of the breast; nipple change and discharge. She further advised both men and women to not only do self-examinations but also do regular check-ups.

Addressing the issue of cancer in general, Hlophe said cervical cancer was the leading type of cancer in Eswatini. She revealed that there were at least 280 new cases of cervical cancer in the country per year. Further, Hlophe said at least 50 percent of all referrals to the Republic of South Africa by Phalala Fund were for cervical cancer patients.

Prostate cancer, on the other hand, was revealed to be the second leading type of cancer in Eswatini. Hlophe advised men to start checking at around 45-50 years for early detection. Lastly, she mentioned that there was currently a study to determine the relationship between tuberculosis and lung cancer undertaken by the Government of Eswatini in conjunction with Bristol Myre-Squibb Foundation.

Lastly, she warned that it was important to have a proper diet and healthy lifestyle to avoid cancer.

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