The Movement Show with Luyanda Khumalo: Slindokuhle Cele and Nonhlanhla Mbonambi

The Gender Feminist Speak Out

Topic: Raising cancer awareness
Time: 14:00-15:00
Date: 10 October 2020

Radio Presenter Introduces us


Slindokuhle: Greetings to Abalaleli emakhaya, I am Slindokuhle Cele from Agenda Feminist Media. My colleague and I are back again for another engaging conversation. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month which is an annual international health campaign organized by many charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and raise funds for research, prevention, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers support to those affected by breast cancer. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was founded in October 1985 by the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries (producer of anti-cancer breast drugs).

Nonhlanhla: Thank you Slindokuhle, and I am Nonhlanhla Mbonambi. The reason we chose to talk about cancer is that a lot of people do not have the knowledge, they need on how to prevent and get treatment for cancer. People need to be aware of minor changes in their bodies and causes that might lead to breast and cervical cancer.


Slindokuhle: Breast cancer is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells. The term breast cancer refers to a malignant tumour that has developed from cells in the breast. Cancer occurs because of abnormal changes, in the genes responsible for the growth of cells and keeping them healthy. Regularly examining your breasts on your own can be an important way to find breast cancer early, when it is more likely to be treated successfully. While no single test can detect all breast cancers early, performing breast self-exam in combination with other screening methods can increase the odds of early detection. (Risk factors include age, genetics, body weight and alcohol consumption.) (DR Yamini Ranchod, Ph.D., M.S.) “Lifetime risks of developing cancer vary from a low of one in 81 in African women to a high of one in 13 among white women, like rate in Western countries. Age and stage at diagnosis vary considerably between the different races and populations (urban vs rural) living in South Africa” according to the writer, Daniel A. Vorobiof. Breast Cancer is one of the most common cancers among women in South Africa. It is the most prevalent cancer amongst white and Asian women and the second most common cancer among black and coloured women. (according to the South African Government Page,


Nonhlanhla: As Slindokuhle has talked about breast cancer, it is also important to mention that in South Africa cervical cancer is one of the deadliest diseases among women. In the early stages of this type of cancer, a person may experience no symptoms at all. As a result, women should have regular cervical cancer smear or Pap tests. According to a medical doctor, Adam Felman a Pap test is highly recommended as a prevention method. It aims not to detect cancer but to reveal any cell changes that indicate the possible development of cancer so that a person can take early action to prevent it. Treatment for cervical cancer includes surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of both. The most fundamental bad habits women need to stop in order to avoid suffering from cervical cancer that are mentioned by Adam Felman, and what increases the risk for most women to have cervical cancer. That is smoking cigarettes, the long term usage of contraceptive pills, having a weakened immune system, having a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and having multiple sexual partners.

Slindokuhle: Authors Daniel A. Vorobiof, Freddy Sitas, and Gabriel Vorobiof share that during their research, they would find that in black patients traditionally, Cancer was interpreted as a reflection of conflicts, particularly in social relationships. Many patients with cancer believed it was due to special witchcraft caused their cancer, and, therefore, their priority was to reverse the sorcery before presenting to the hospital to be treated by modern medicine methods. There are/were some people who believe in superstitions and most of the time they do not believe in science or “western medicine” and believe that traditional medicine or sorcery is treatment.

Nonhlanhla: Authors Kedibonye Polao and Bontle Motssoeneng claim that cancer remains an unknown killer for many women in rural areas in South Africa, more than 6 000 women are diagnosed annually with breast cancer. Nationally, most cancer treatments and diagnostic tools like Computerised Tomography (CT) scans remain centralized at provincial and specialist hospitals. Women in rural areas travel at least 220 km to get treatment due to a lack of equipment in their respective public hospitals.


Slindokuhle: Men also get breast cancer; it is a rare cancer that forms in the breast tissue of men. Though breast cancer is most thought of as a disease that affects women, breast cancer does occur in men. Male breast cancer is most common in older men, though it can occur at any age. Men diagnosed with male breast cancer at an early stage have a good chance for a cure. Treatment typically involves surgery to remove the breast tissue. Other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, may be recommended based on your cancer. symptoms of male breast cancer can include: a painless lump or thickening in your breast tissue, Changes to the skin covering your breast, such as dimpling, puckering, redness, or scaling.
For counselling, support groups, assistance with a better understanding of any form of cancer. CANSA (Cancer Association of South Africa) is a non-profit organization that is committed to helping people facing cancer, cancer survivors and loved ones of those dealing with cancer. The contact details are:
Email: Help desk: 0800 22 66 22 (toll free)
Whatsapp: 072 197 9305 (English and Afrikaans)
Whatsapp: 071 867 3530 ( isiXhosa, isiZulu, siSwati, Sesotho and Setswana)


Nonhlanhla: Treatment of cancer in some parts of South Africa are impossible. According to the World Health Organization, 19% of South Africans have a possibility of creating malignancy (cancer tumour) before they turn 75. Figures like these mean that public hospitals often have the sole huge burden of treating more than 660 000 patients. Most women in rural areas suffer from the early stages of cancer that can be prevented with mobile clinics and cancer awareness campaigns that provide useful information and routine tests for free. As individuals, groups and organizations we need to mobilize for the government to address the cancer-related needs of women in rural areas.

Slindokuhle: We have come to the end of our discussion for today, but do not forget to comment, share your views and opinion on the Agenda Feminist Media page on Facebook.


Africa, N. o. (2018, June 01). Retrieved from South Africa: Treatment of Cancer in North West Is Impossible.
Bontle Motsoeneng, K. P. (11, April 2016). Health E-News.
Daniel A. Vorobiof, F. S. (2013). Breast Cancer Incidence in South Africa. 3.
Government, S. A. (n.d.). South African Government. Retrieved from
Louise. (n.d.). Breast Health Foundation. Retrieved from What are the symptoms of Breast Cancer?:
Suzette Jordan, J.-P. B. (2016). a Review of Cervical Cancer in South Africa: Previous, Current and Future.

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