School of Health Sciences’ staff in support of
breast cancer awareness.

‘Breaking the silence about breast cancer will empower other women and raise serious awareness about the illness.’

These were the words of Breast Cancer Survivor, Vanessa Moodley, who spoke at a fundraising event organized by School of Health Sciences’ staff in the spirit of August as Breast Cancer Month at UKZN.

‘R3050 was raised at the CUPPA for CANSA initiative and monies are still coming in, in the form of personal donations,’ said Ms Sandra Naidoo of the School. ‘Employees from various disciplines supported the idea to raise funds for the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) for Breast Cancer Month. So many mothers and sisters of ours have died of breast cancer.  This is our contribution towards the fight for cancer and to show that we care’.

Some two-and-a-half years ago when Moodley, the Senior Lecturer of Optometry, was diagnosed with breast cancer, this was inevitably associated with initial shock and trauma.  However, it allowed her to be able to reflect on ‘the important things in life’ and learn to lead a more balanced lifestyle.  The journey through the treatment was made easier due to the strong support system around her. ‘I am very grateful for the overwhelming support I received from family, friends and colleagues who held my hand every step of the way.’

Studies confirm that the risk of breast cancer can be reduced by regular exercise, eating a low fat diet, controlling your weight, drinking alcohol in moderation and not smoking at all. Women are encouraged to see a doctor or their nearest clinic as soon as they notice any changes in their breast(s). A mammogram is a quick and relatively painless X-ray that assists in the early detection of breast cancer even before the lump is obvious.