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Published:October 7th, 2011 21:11 EST
Breast Screenings Save Lives in Kenya

Breast Screenings Save Lives in Kenya

By Sophie Akinyi

October marks breast cancer awareness month in Kenya where women are availed free breast screening and lump testing services.

According to National Cancer Report, cancer mortality rate has grown over the past two years with women registering a bigger percentage 51%.This lead killer disease has seen the opening of the country`s first Heart and Cancer Center at the Aga Khan University Hospital.

It has been noted that most people don`t go for breast examination which would help in earlier detection of the disease. This means that they seek treatment when the disease is at an advanced stage which is a bit complex to handle.

Cancer cells can be detected by an individual through self-examination for any lumps. This might in some instances not be quite effective so a mammography which is a special x-ray done on breast tissues is the most efficient. This is so since it is able to detect the cells long before even they form lumps. It`s after this that surgery may be prescribed followed by chemotherapy. This procedure is quite expensive especially for persons who are not well off.

The country is however battling hard to curb the spread of this disease while championing for its earlier detection through opening of mammography centers. So far, there are 12 centers within the country`s major cities. Reigning Miss World Kenya Susan Anyango has also joined this campaign by registering a cancer foundation. This foundation is set to create awareness, promoting regular check-ups and advocating for healthy lifestyles. The beauty queen`s quest is backed by the fact that she lost her mother to leukemia at a very tender age.

While many men might shy away from this month`s free testing, it is important that they too get tested because they are also at a risk. Afya Kenya Foundation`s chairman Oduwo Noah Akala describes that this ten minutes service could make a big change to one`s life, hence individuals should freely participate.