Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has established an advisory committee to back up the department's fight against cancer.
Eight people, including academics, lab technicians and cancer survivors, have been selected to form part of the team.
"The decision came in recognition of the growing number of cancer cases in the country," Health Department spokesman Popo Maja said.
Maja said top of the agenda for the team was to "educate the public about cancer and how to detect it early".
He said though cancer accounted for 7% of all deaths in South Africa the information available on it was inadequate.
"Our information is quite outdated and that worries us," Maja said.
Previously, the health minister had set up a National Cancer Registry to facilitate the compulsory registration of all cancer cases but it had proved ineffective, he said.
Part of the committee's task would be to intensify research and find ways to make a cervical cancer vaccine affordable to disadvantaged communities, Maja said.
The health department reveals that breast and cervical cancer are a growing concern among women - while men are mostly affected by lung cancer, followed by prostate and throat cancer.
Kwanele Asante-Shongwe, who runs an advocacy group called BreastSens, and who is also part of the committee, said setting up the team was "a real affirmation of the minister's focus to make quality health care accessible to all South Africans".
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