Breast cancer can be beaten

An Aspen Pharmacare Port Elizabeth

Dr Cathryn Walton and Aspen cancer survivor Mercia Douw

The Aspen PE Women’s Forum (WF) hosted two Cuppa for Cancer chat sessions and a Pink Ribbon Aerial Photo Shoot in October 2016 to raise awareness of breast cancer. In addition, the WF partnered with Feedem, the canteen service provider, to raise funds for the St Francis Hospice through the sale of Cancer Sucks lollipops.

The Cuppa for Cancer chat sessions held during global breast cancer month were well attended and very informative. Guest speaker, Dr Cathryn Walton from GVI Oncology explained the various types of screening which includes physical examination, mammograms, ultrasounds and MRI which are required in order to increase the incidence of breast cancer detection. Dr Walton strongly recommended that all women undergo an annual mammogram from the age of 40 years. She also emphasized that routine non-symptomatic screening allowed for early diagnosis, which in turn permits the words cancer and cure to be used in the same sentence.

A heartfelt testimony from Mercia Douw, an Aspen breast cancer survivor, clearly highlighted the need and appreciation for continuous support and encouragement at home and in the workplace for all cancer warriors. Sr. Heather McWilliams demonstrated various methods for monthly breast self-examination and stressed the importance of knowing your body in order to identify any changes as soon as possible.

As a symbol of hope for the fight against breast cancer, more than 200 ladies at the site braved the wind to participate in a special Pink Ribbon aerial photo shoot. It was an uplifting occasion as this group of compassionate women, dressed in pink, white and black, stood together in solidarity in honour of the fighters, the survivors, the taken and those affected by this disease.