Specialist Breast Cancer Hospitals in South Africa

 This post is a follow-on of ‘Does Diagnosis = Debt?

 Below is a list of all the hospitals in South Africa where breast cancer is diagnosed and/treated.

specialist breast cancer hospitals in south africa 1

specialist breast cancer hospitals in south africa 2

Advertisements

South Africa & Breast Cancer: Reality Bites

D I D    Y O U   K  N O W  ? 

  • 15 % of the population use Private Sector Health: they are served straight away upon diagnosis.
  • 85% of the population use Public Sector Health have to wait…

 

Basket of Services - Breast Cancer in South Africa

Women in Private Sector care have access to the entire ‘basket’ of services:

  1. Surgery
  2. All forms of treatment
  3. Supportive care
  4. Breast reconstructive surgery
  5. Breast prostheses
  6. Lymphoedema service

This is, however, not always the case for the Public Heath Sector.

Saying that, even women in the Private Sector can miss out on receiving full cover from their medical aids for their actual cancer diagnosis and all associated treatments if they don’t carefully inform themselves by making sure to read the FINE PRINT of their policies! If they don’t thoroughly know the conditions of their medical aid policy, they will end up joining the treatment queue with their sisters in the Public Health Sector.

 


If 85% of our women are in the public sector how many of them are lucky enough to get the full ‘basket of services‘?

Breast Cancer - Basket of Services

Once again, it is our responsibility to equip and empower ourselves – as well as our sisters – with the knowledge necessary to make sure we have our rights met!

The Chaotic Complexity of Cancer

Cancer is a complex disease
{ The Complicated Chaos Inside a Cancer Cell }

“There were facets of the complexity of cancer that  I thought I understood as a researcher.  But once I became a patient, it was clear how difficult it is to translate our current understanding of cancer into clinical decisions.” ~ Linda Griffith, Ph.D. (bioengineer and breast cancer survivor)

{ To watch Linda Griffith’s interview about the complexity of cancer, click here. }


Unlike TB or HIV, cancer is not just one, singular disease, with one cause and one form of treatment. FACT: There are 300+ different cancer types. If we look at just that number, we must understand that that means there are 300+ ways of detection, diagnosis, treatment, after-care and support. Additionally, adding to the complexity is each person’s unique personality, unique set of pre-existing health conditions, unique living circumstances (employment, housing, finances, transport etc.), and unique family who are also so much part of the person’s cancer journey.

Because TB and HIV are singular diseases, their treatment policies are fairly simple to have put into place, afford and maintain. However, cancer’s endless complexity makes having a policy for breast health expensive, complicated and difficult to define.

When we shift our perspective from private care to public health care, it is an unavoidable fact that our public health system is in urgent need of a breast health policy which addresses every single aspect of breast health from improving involuntary exposure to environmental risk factors, boosting breast health education and awareness  – all the way through to the upgrading of diagnostic and treatment technology, psycho-social support during and after treatment for both the person diagnosed with breast cancer, as well as their family. Most of all the value of a breast health policy for South Africa would be  the standardization of breast care across the country based on international best practice research.

The article below from Breast Cancer Action packs a punch as it exposes the unavoidable South African reality about the state of our nation’s breast health crisis:


SOCIAL INJUSTICES LEAD TO UNEQUAL EXPOSURES

“… the complex issues of social inequities – political, economic and racial injustices have been largely neglected. The extent and type of toxins we’re exposed to often depends on where we live and work. Poorer communities — both urban and rural — shoulder an unequal share of the burden of exposure to toxic materials.

The social determinants of breast cancer likely contribute significantly to the development and mortality of the disease, and these involuntary factors are shown to be of greater impact on women of color and low-income women, since these populations are at greater risk for exposure to toxins and social injustice-related stresses and the lack of services available on a primary care level to access cancer care easily and swiftly. The delays in diagnostic testing and the impact this has on the start of treatment are issues causing late diagnosis and treatment, and thus the outcomes of treatment are compromised.

Low-income women are also less likely to have access to healthy foods and quality healthcare. Compelling research and simple intuition tells us that true reduction of both breast cancer incidence and death from the disease requires a better understanding of how the complex tangle of the environmental and social factors, genetics and personal behavior results in different outcomes for different ethnic and economic groups.

Working to prevent breast cancer through lifestyle choices ignores the hard fact that we don’t all share equal access to the same “lifestyle choices.” When we focus on the benefits of individual diet and exercise, we lose sight of the social justice issues that limits access to affordable healthy food and regular exercise for many in our society. We strongly feel the best approaches are a combination of individual AND societal changes so that EVERYONE has the option of limiting their risk of getting breast cancer.

{ See more at Breast Cancer Action }


FOLLOW* our blog to boost your impact as a breast cancer advocate! And then, SHARE our blog post as far and wide as you can on your social media accounts and with email contacts!

*The ‘Follow’ button is at the very top of the blog page on the left.