Willowbridge Shopping Centre together with Goji Spa and The Barnyard Theatre hosted a breakfast on Monday 26 October 2015, to raise awareness around breast cancer. Prof Justus Apffelstaedt, Head of the Breast Clinic at Tygerberg Hospital and Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Stellenbosch will be giving a talk on“What you always wanted to know about Breast Cancer and were too afraid to ask”.
The talk was open to the public and around 40 women were in attendance. All of the funds raised at the event were donated to the Tygerberg Hospital Breast Clinic Transport Fund.
“About 50 women per month are diagnosed with breast cancer at the Clinic and 70% of them have a very low income – if they have one at all. Although treatment costs are covered by Government, their transport costs to and from the hospital for regular radiotherapy sessions often become a barrier to entry.” Says Apffelstaedt. “We are always grateful for any donations made to the Transport Fund and every bit goes a long way.”
Professor Apffelstaedt debunked common myths and misconceptions that women have around breast cancer; the audience was engaged and asked many questions which were answered frankly. It became a safe space for the women to ask the questions they were always too shy or scared to ask.
“As part of our on-going commitment to help less fortunate women diagnosed with breast cancer, all proceeds of the breakfast will go towards making a difference to women at Tygerberg Hospital’s Breast Clinic, and we are happy to donate the R2100 raised at the event”, says Karen Fox of Goji Spa. “Our hope was that this talk would make a difference for those already suffering from the disease, as well as for the ladies who still have a chance to prevent it.”
“Out of the 40 or so ladies in attendance today, 5 of you already have breast cancer or will develop breast cancer. That is how prevalent this chronic disease is, so we need to ensure that all women are empowered with every piece of information that is available”, says Apffelstaedt.
Apffelstaedt emphasised that lifestyle can have a major impact on likeliness of women developing breast cancer. Four hours of strenuous exercise per week can decrease your risk of developing breast cancer by about 30-40% according to Apffelstaedt. In addition, if a women gains 20kgs or more between the age of 20 and 40; her risk of developing breast cancer increases by about 50%.
“The risk of suffering breast cancer can be much reduced by a healthy and balanced life-style. The residual risk can be managed successfully by regular screening mammography and ultrasound which will reduce by about 60-70% the risk of dying of breast cancer”, concluded Apffelstaedt.