Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women both in the developed and less developed world. It is estimated that worldwide over 508000 women died in 2011 due to breast cancer (Global Health Estimates, WHO 2013).
Although breast cancer is thought to be a disease of the developed world, almost 50% of breast cancer cases and 58% of deaths occur in less developed countries (GLOBOCAN 2012).
In back home the World Health Organization estimates that over 3,000 women die of cancer every year. Experts now rate our community as having one of the lowest levels of awareness for breast cancer.
Traditionally our women are shy and there are many things that they cannot discuss with doctors. Even when they feel pain in their breasts, they shy away and keep the clothes on. If they are asked to explain, they cannot mention the word breast and would be unable to get treatment. They are shy to display breast swellings or wounds. That is why, Horn of Africa Education and Economic Development (HAEEDS) started to help our community to say out their silence killer diseases.
Our community has the lowest level of awareness for breast cancer According to medical experts and this hinders the early detection of cancer.
Although few women knew this deadly disease but majority have misconception about breast cancer and probably due to the prevalence of traditional beliefs.
Breast cancer awareness is low in our community and there is limited cancer diagnosis, modern treatment options, and the cases would present very late in stage when treatment may not be viable. Thus, we have established the HAEEDS to;
- Bring awareness to our community and to convey this message to their own mother tongue language.
- Address cultural misconceptions and attitudes by developing culturally appropriate interventions to improve screening uptake for our women.
- Address cultural barriers specifically to younger and older groups. Integrate culturally informed beliefs into intervention development, preventive care and screening promotion.
Increase the level of awareness within the African community about Breast Cancer through education, workshop, seminars and cultural events.
- Break social and cultural barriers to remove misconceptions and attitudes towards Breast Cancer and improve screening uptake for our women.
- Reduce the risk of getting breast cancer and the burden of breast cancer in the society.