October is the internationally acclaimed #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth. As I sit down to write this piece, I receive a notification from a taxi hailing app offering a Ksh500 off to and from Nairobi Hospital for breast cancer screening. It is a clear indication that many corporates are at the fore front of fighting this epidemic and I hope many of those who received the notification will use the opportunity to go for those checkups as I am planning to.
Despite efforts by Kenyan corporates, little has been achieved in the fight against breast cancer. Breast cancer is fast becoming the most common type of cancer affecting both the developed and developing worlds. Breast cancer can affect both women and men and during this duration of breast cancer awareness month a lot of health clinics have come up offering free screenings and sensitization on the same.
According to our recent findings which were centered in Kenya, 23% of the respondents still believe that only women are prone to cancer. This means that a lot of men will most likely not be seeking screening services as they believe it is not a threat to their health.
Advanced cases of breast cancer have seen a lot of patients lose mostly one or two of their breasts and this has always sparked several conversations in both the married and single communities on how serious mastectomy is.
In the month of October, several hospitals in Kenya came forward and had media campaigns running sensitizing Kenyans on the dangers of late detection and how early screenings could save lives and in return offered free screenings. Whether the campaigns were effective was a split of 48% people saying that they were aware that their locals had free screenings while a good 52% had no clue.
All in all Kenya is in the-know with regard to breast cancer although more sensitization on the male demographic would help achieve more awareness and detection