Every October Hemel-en-Aarde winery, Creation, dedicates a Saturday morning to cancer awareness. Every year Creation’s Carolyn Martin invites Professor Justus Apffelstaedt and his wife Annemie to address the audience. Every year the hope remains the same. That the listeners will go forth and spread the news. The news that there is hope.
Professor Apffelstaedt shared his wealth of breast cancer research and applied knowledge with the group and demystified some misperceptions. The first and most important message is that early detection saves lives. The professor emphasized that the ass of the ostrich makes a great target while she has her head buried in the sand. There is no need to wait until it’s too late. Reconstructive surgery can also be done at the time of the mastectomy. Why prolong the process?
A percentage of breast cancer is hereditary and fortunately genetic testing, known as BRCA 1 and 2, is now available in South Africa. Testing positive for a genetic variant that increases the risk of contracting cancer moved superstar Angelina Jolie to have a double mastectomy as a preventative measure. With Angelina’s action public awareness increased tremendously and women commented on dealing with breast cancer on a more personal level.
What became clear from Professor Apffelstaedt’s talk is that health education is critical. No-one should be caught unawares by breast cancer. Today it is also not about survival anymore. It is about quality of life. For more information on breast cancer visit www.apffelstaedt.com and see what you should be doing at the age of 20, 30 and 40 to ensure better breast health awareness. Prevention is better than cure.