22 August 2017

South Africa: New Cancer Policies to Improve Prevention and Treatment for Women

Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi will on Friday launch cervical and breast cancer policies aimed at addressing the high mortality caused by these two types of cancers.

The Department of Health on Tuesday said the policies are also aimed at improving the management of cancer and the quality of life of women in South Africa.

The launch is scheduled to be held at Frere Hospital in East London in the Eastern Cape.

Breast and cervical cancers have been identified amongst the leading causes of death among South African women, especially women aged 30 years and older.

The Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control Policy will assist to prevent the disease by promoting healthy lifestyle and providing Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination. The Health Department said the Breast Cancer Control Policy will focus on breast cancer awareness, early detection, treatment and care.

The implementation of both policies will provide clinical support for women, who are both at risk of developing the disease later in life and currently undergoing treatment to survive and live healthy lives.

The department said it is working on a 10-year plan to equip hospitals with the necessary facilities to care for and support patients with cancer in an effort to address the Hospital Service Equity and Accessibility for women.

"The Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control policy will enable the introduction of a new screening technique called liquid-based cytology, which is an improvement from the Pap smear technique and is more comfortable and produces reliable results.

"The Breast Cancer Control Policy will allow women, who are diagnosed early, to have access to treatment such as trastuzumab, which will prolong life if treatment is completed and minimise the recurrence of the disease women."

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