The campaign emphasises early detection—one of the leading strategies against this global threat. Women are urged to conduct monthly self-examinations, with prompt doctor visits for any detected abnormalities.
Today breast cancer accounts for one in eight cancer diagnoses, and a total of 2.3 million new cases – mostly women but including men – are diagnosed. An estimated 685,000 women died from breast cancer in 2020.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) predicts that there will be 3 million new cases every year by 2040 and that annual deaths will increase by 50% to 1 million. The case for early detection and treatment could not be more compelling.
“Late diagnosis continues to be one of the main reasons for poor treatment outcomes,” says Roche general manager, Wendy Cupido. “By encouraging routine self-examination, we can facilitate earlier diagnosis and treatment, which could result in as many as four out of five people surviving a breast-cancer diagnosis.”
The campaign concept is designed to convey the message that establishing a self-examination routine every 30 days can ensure that women have a lifetime of happy and fulfilling experiences ahead of them, even after a breast-cancer diagnosis.
As the stage at diagnosis is a strong predictor of breast-cancer survival, the greatest challenge faced in the treatment of breast cancer in South Africa, is that studies have shown that over 50% of women present with advanced disease at first diagnosis.
There is a misconception that only older women are susceptible, however the reality is that 40% of women diagnosed with breast cancer are under 40 years of age. That’s why every woman should examine her breasts for any lumps or changes in appearance two to three days after every menstrual cycle.
While 70% of all breast cancer cases are discovered through self-examination, many women remain reluctant to consult their doctors after discovering a lump in one of their breasts for fear of a cancer diagnosis.
The fact is that in eight out of 10 cases the lumps aren’t cancerous and in cases in which they are, early treatment could literally mean the difference between life and death.
The aim of the #30DaysIsALifetime campaign is to encourage women to make this simple self-examination part of their monthly routine.
Early detection and treatment of breast cancer enables healthcare professionals to manage the disease optimally and provides for better treatment outcomes. It gives women diagnosed with cancer a far greater chance of surviving the disease, and being afforded the privilege of time.