Breast Care Malawi awareness walk also to raise funds for cancer victim

The 5km breast cancer awareness walk, which Breast Care Malawi organised on Sunday, was also to help raise funds for a cervical cancer victim Sheila Watterson.

The enthusiastic participants to the 5km walk
The bar was elected in the white tent
The enthusiastic participants to the 5km walk

Watterson also took part in the walk that started from Old Lucky Luciano near South End School along Chikwawa Road and headed past Catholic Institute (CI) to join Mahatma Gandhi Road all the way up to College of Medicine Sports Complex.

There the route branched off into Mandala residential area to immediately branch off on the street that connects with Victoria Avenue at Victoria Gardens and headed back to the venue to begin a Sunday funday.

Breast Care Ltd organised the event as part of its mission to provide help and inspire hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and awareness.

There were donation boxes for Watterson, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer after she delivered twins to years ago.

“Our entire world turned upside down instantly and our journey of diffferent cancer treatments in South Africa started,” says her husband in a flier appealing for assistance from well-wishers.

“She went through 25 sessions of radiotherapy, 6 chemotherapy and three brachytherapy.

“A few months after we discovered that the cancer had spread to her lungs and we had to fly to South Africa every 3 weeks for chemotherapy.

“Since then, the cancer has been aggressive and has stayed in her lungs. The cancer nodules are still growing to date.

“She has started chemotherapy again and is on blood thinning medication as the doctors found out she has blood clots in her veins in her lungs and close to her heart.

“With all the treatments and our children to care for, we have run out of funds and we are now seeking for any little financial help.

“Each contribution, no matter the size, is greatly appreciated as it will take us a long way,” says the husband.

Well-wishers are asked to contact Breast Care Ltd through its founder, Ria Duke on 0998 158 278.

Registration fee for 5km walk was at a minimum of K3,500 per entry that allowed the participants free access to breast screening. There was also a flea market, food stalls, beer garden and music.

Duke came up with the idea to establish Breast Care after surviving to breast cancer twice in 2016.

She was first diagnosed with the cancer whilst in South Africa just when she was to relocate to Malawi with her husband.

After a while, the cancer returned but to her horror, there was no proper breast cancer treatment in Malawi and she had to travel to South Africa for rigorous treatments.

When she got back to Malawi she mobilized friends together and formed a group called Breast Care Malawi that was later registered as a non-profit company limited by guarantee with five Trustees — a director, secretary, attorney, treasurer and 40 members.

Its aim is to help people with cancer lighten the burden a bit and it soon spiralled into a big project

The organization then designed a breast cancer awareness flyer that was translated from English into Chichewa with illustrations for people who can’t read in order to reach out to people in the rural areas.

Duke emphasizes that for breast cancer awareness to be enhanced, there is need for people to have regular self examination and also to go for screening at least once a year at their screening clinic at Chitawira Private Hospital.

“If people see any changes in their breasts, both women and men, they are encouraged to have them seen to immediately,” she said.

October is the Breast Cancer Awareness Month, observed globally, which helps to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease.

There are about 1.38 million new cases and 458,000 deaths from breast cancer each year, as according to a reports by IARC Globocan.

The report said breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries.

In low and middle income countries the incidence has been rising up steadily in the last years due to increase in life expectancy, increase urbanization and adoption of western lifestyles.

Currently there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer, therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control.

When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that breast cancer can be cured.

If detected late, however, curative treatment is often no longer an option. In such cases, palliative care to relief the suffering of patients and their families is needed.

The majority of deaths occur in low and middle-income countries, where most women with breast cancer are diagnosed in late stages due mainly to lack of awareness on early detection and barriers to health services.

World Health Organisation (WHO) promotes comprehensive breast cancer control programmes as part of national cancer control plans.

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4 years ago

Is this organisation for women only? Men also suffer and die from cancer. Do they have to start their own cancel research for men?

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