Kigali, October 16, 2022: The Ministry of Health through Rwanda Biomedical Centreer and Imbuto Foundation among other partners has joined the rest of the world to mark the global breast cancer awareness month.
Running under the theme, “Early detection saves lives”, the celebrations were conducted during a walk that was held from Bank of Kigali Arena to Kigali Heights during the car free day.
Every year, we diagnose around 650 breast cancer patients including men and around 600 people succumb to the disease annually.
Speaking during the celebrations, Health Minister Dr. Daniel Ngamije rooted that symptoms of breast cancer can easily be detected:
“We’re raising this awareness, because breast cancer can easily be detected: The patient experiences thickening of the breast’s skin, some fluids come out of the breast, new lumps develop in the breast or in the in the armpit, pain and breast nipple retraction,” he explained to the car free day attendants.
“At least every woman, once a month, should do self-breast exam, just standing in front of the mirror and check the above symptoms in the breast and if any abnormal finding, go quickly to the nearest health facility for further investigations. We should not wait until the cancer invades other parts of the body like lungs,...,” he added.
Compared to other cancers in Rwanda, Breast cancer’s incidence on the top followed by cervical cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer and the liver cancer as well.
Currently, the Ministry of Health is conducting breast cancer early detection and cervical cancer awareness campaigns in Nyagatare, Gicumbi, Kicukiro and Nyanza; people should use this opportunity to get screened in big numbers.
A renowned breast cancer advocate for the last 28 years and founder of Breast Cancer Initiative East Africa (BCIEA), Phillipa Kibubu Decuir, commended Rwanda’s commitment to the fight against breast cancer.
“Yes, breast cancer is a very economic, and health burden to our societies, but we already have witnessed an improvement in our treatment services, because there is no Rwandan who can go out of the country for breast cancer treatment,” she commented.
“There has been a tremendous development by the government of Rwanda, all we need now is to increase awareness, reduce the delay between diagnosis and treatment, increase expertise in treating this disease,”.
Globally, in 2020, 2.3 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer, and a total of, 650,000 succumbed to the latter.
Minister Ngamije called on women to conduct self-breast exams once every month.