Woman to Woman: Surviving Cancer

creating cancer awareness
cancer cells
Women all  over are encouraged to visit one of their CANSA Care Centres for more information on the screening and treatment of women’s cancers.
As women embrace different roles and progress through life, they often put everyone else’s needs first, neglecting themselves in the process. South African women should  take hands in the fight against cancer, by taking responsibility for their personal well-being.

Sue Janse van Rensburg, CANSA’s CEO, is a woman who has embraced many different roles – that of leader, cancer fighter and cancer survivor of 29 years. She believes that the health of our women is the cornerstone of South Africa’s future.

She says, “We as women warriors can fight this battle together and win. The choice of a healthy, balanced lifestyle and avoidance of cancer-causing agents (like smoking) can decrease our risk for cancer and female cancers in particular.” 

Cancer is one of the most serious diseases women face, with 1 in 29 women being diagnosed with breast cancer and 1 in 36 with cervical cancer – the leading cancer among black women in South Africa. CANSA urges women and female cancer survivors to encourage one another to adopt a balanced lifestyle and to go for regular screenings in order to decrease their cancer risk or the recurrence of cancer. 

CANSA’s Top Tips on living Cancer- Free
Eat smart and healthy - Be cancer-smart when choosing, preparing and enjoying food. Avoid processed foods and include lots of fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet.

Exercise and manage stress - Live a balanced, active lifestyle. Exercise is essential for building immunity and strength.  If you’re fit, managing your day to day responsibilities will be less stressful.

Avoid alcohol and tobacco - Limit the use of alcohol or avoid it completely and avoid the use of tobacco products.

Go for regular screening - Take time to go for regular medical check-ups and screening. Do monthly breast examinations and go for regular Pap smears, every two to three years.  Pap smears and breast examinations are important as they help to detect cancer early. The earlier cancer is detected, the higher your chance of surviving cancer. 

Establish a support system - Seek the company of those who inspire you, whether family or friends and spend quality time with them.

Find daily inspiration - Feed your mind and soul with daily reflections that uplift you and give purpose and meaning to your life. Prayer and positive meditation can enhance your spiritual well-being.

Nurture a positive attitude and sense of humour - Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to keep you focussed on the positive. Laughter is nature’s medicine and strengthens your immunity. So have some fun!

Complete treatment - Complete the treatment prescribed by medical and care teams if you are ill.

Go for regular follow-ups - To avoid the recurrence of cancer, you should practice a balanced lifestyle and go for regular medical check-ups even after remission.
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Issue 16


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