Tanzania: 'Breast Cancer Test Vital for Men Too

MEMBERS of the community, especially men, have been warned not to ignore the fact that men are also vulnerable to breast cancer and should therefore undergo testing.

The advice was given by a medical practitioner from the KCMC Super referral Hospital in Kilimanjaro Region Ms Dorah Mrema, when making a presentation during the eleventh Cancer Prevention and Awareness Camp (PrevACamp) which was held at the Momella Health Centre grounds in Momella, Arumeru District, in Kilimanjaro Region.

"Just like women, men can also get breast cancer although those affected are mostly women; therefore may I take this opportunity to advice men to come out and test for symptoms", she said.

According to her, there was no need for men to ignore the advice due to the fact that the side effects are also the same, including that of amputation of the affected breast and that currently there were several men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and were now subject to breast cancer treatment at the KCMC hospital.

In her presentation, the Director of the Momella Health Centre, Dr Cornelia Wallner, advised members of the community not to ignore the fact that cancer needs regular testing despite of someone's health status when seen physically.

"I testify this due to the fact that I was also found positive of this deadly disease; I felt I was in good health as did those who saw me, but when I went to test for cancer I was found positive.

I was shocked because I didn't imagine I could be positive as I looked strong and healthy," she remarked, adding: "This may apply to you; you may think that you are strong and neglect the idea of testing for cancer; this is not advisable because when you neglect, you might be found to be positive and the lateness to get treatment may prove fatal."

In his presentation during the camp, Dr Christian Issangya from KCMC Super Referral Hospital, reiterated the benefits of early testing for the colorectal and throat cancer.

"These types of cancers are not easily known to many because they are not outside compared to that of skin cancer unless someone starts to feel pains; that's when he or she goes for testing and this where one would be able to know if he or she has contracted the disease", he said, adding: "When someone is subject to symptoms like stomach pains or sweating from time to time, one should report to health specialists to test for colorectal cancer, or test for throat cancer, if one feels pain when swallowing food, to mention but a few symptoms."

One of those who benefited from the free of charge PrevACamp, Mr Jeremiah Nassari (82) thanked the KCMC hospital and the Momella Health Centre for organising the camp which he said would help many know their status related to cancer and other related diseases.

"This is a good move to save those who can't afford the high costs of testing for cancer and even its treatment; as you see, the number here is big," he said, adding: "There are those who came from as far as 32 kilometres from here, I know them; this is a clear indication that there are many who are in need of these services but can't follow the procedures due to lack of funds to do so or don't have knowledge on where to start."

The founder and the main coordinator of the camp Ms Antje Henke, stressed that the camp was for free of charge, saying she was impressed by the big number of those who turned up for testing and advice over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the Medical Officer in Charge of the Momella Health Centre said the centre will host a free hernia testing and operation to patients at the centre from November 4.

"This is a chance for those who are in need of these services to come and check their status concerning hernia and get treatment when needed, from specialists who will be here for them", he said.

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