As the Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes to an end on Saturday 29th October, the Cancer Association of Botswana (CAB) will wrap up the month’s activities with a two kilometre stiletto walk, from Riverwalk Mall to the Gym Active Complex in Gaborone and back.
The fourth annual walk, which has become the traditional closing activity to the cancer awareness month, will be about women and men in pink and heels and prizes for the highest heel and the most pink dressed.
Nowadays, breast cancer is considered the most frequent malignant tumor in women worldwide and the main cause of death between 45 and 55 years old. One million cases are diagnosed annually worldwide, most of them in advanced stages and with a high mortality. However, if it is discovered with time, the disease can be treated successfully.
CAB Coordinator, Letsebeng Mosimi, said CAB had been pulling out all the stops to educate the nation on all forms of cancer, adding that people are informed not only about breast cancer, but about other forms of cancer as well.
She said although a lot more needed to be done, men no longer viewed breast cancer as an entirely female disease as was the case before. Mosimi said the main objective of this walk is to raise awareness and reduce the impact of breast cancer in people.
According to the national cancer registry, breast cancer is the third most common solid malignancy after Kaposi sarcoma and cervical cancer in Botswana. She advised everybody to go for breast cancer checkups and seek medical help in time. Breast cancer accounts for 17 percent of women population in Botswana.
The first breast cancer activists were a series of women in the early and mid-1970s who challenged the routine use of the radical mastectomy, a highly disfiguring operation that involves the removal of the affected breast and the nearby chest wall muscles, for treating breast cancer. Building on the work of a few renegade surgeons plus the era’s feminism, these women gradually got the medical profession to rethink radical surgery. Data eventually showed that smaller operations, such as lumpectomy accompanied by local radiation, were equally effective.
Mosimi urged women to constantly check for lumps in their breasts to reduce the impact of cancer in their bodies.
The walk is open to both men and women and to participate in the walk adults will have to pay P150 and students will pay P50.