Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women of all races, with a lifetime risk of 1 in 29 in South Africa. Almost every woman has a story about someone she knows or a family member falling foul to this dreadful disease. But breast cancer does not have to be a death sentence. Early detection is the key to surviving.


Imperial Armour believes that every company should play an active role in encouraging all its employees to go for regular check-ups – especially in October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month! ‘The success of a company is equally found in the health and welfare of its employees as it is in the quality of its products’, says Imperial Armour Managing Director, Ms Louisa Garland-Els.

Every woman should be educated about doing a self-breast examination and should know what to look out for at the first sign of a problem. A woman over the age of 40 should be encouraged to go for a mammogram annually. A mammogram machine can detect a lump up to two years before you or your Doctor may physically feel it.

Breast Cancer prevention starts with healthy habits. These include limiting your consumption of alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight and staying physically active. Having a family history of breast cancer can’t be changed. However, staying aware of the signs and taking deliberate steps to reduce your risk can play a huge role in the management of the disease.

As much as we would like to deny it, the following factors contribute significantly to increase your risk of developing breast cancer.

    • Excessive Consumption of Alcohol: The more you drink the greater your risk of developing breast cancer.
    • Smoking: There is a significantly higher risk for a woman who smokes, particularly in a premenopausal woman.
    • Being Overweight: This increases your risk of breast cancer, especially if the obesity occurs after menopause.
    • Staying Sedentary: Lack of physical activity leads to obesity which increases your risk of Breast Cancer!

So what steps can a woman take to lower her risk?

  • Do regular self-breast examinations
  • Go for a mammogram at the earliest signs of a problem
  • From the age of 40 (or earlier if Breast Cancer is in your immediate family) go for a mammogram on an annual basis.
  • Breast-feed as long as possible as it has been shown to reduce your risk
  • Maintain a healthy weight (BMI), exercise regularly and stop smoking.

Breast Cancer is one of the most serious illnesses a woman may ever face, but it does not have to be fatal. Being proactive, educated and aware can make the difference between being a breast cancer survivor or a breast cancer victim.

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