The Four Most Common Cancers
The four most common cancers among SA women*. Here are the symptoms of each of the cancers and how you can test for it…
What it is: A malignant tumour that starts in the cells of the breast.
How common: SA women have a one-in-35 chance of developing this.
Symptoms: Lump in a breast; a change in breast or nipple appearance or how it feels; nipple discharge; rash; pain in breast or armpit.
How to test for it: Do monthly breast self-examinations.
What it is: Growth of abnormal cells in the cervix.
How common: One in 42 SA women will get this.
Symptoms: Abnormal vaginal bleeding; pelvic pain; pain during sex.
How to test for it: Go for a Pap smear at least once every three years.
What it is: A small growth of tissue that starts in the lining of the colon or rectum.
How common: One in 199 SA women will get this.
Symptoms: Change in bowel habits; abdominal discomfort; rectal bleeding; unexplained weight loss; fatigue.
How to test for it: Stool test; colonoscopy or CT scan.
What it is: A type of cancer that begins in the cells that form the lining of the uterus.
How common: One in 176 South African women will get this.
Symptoms: Bleeding between periods; heavier periods; pain in pelvic area, or during sex; abnormal vaginal discharge.
How to test for it: The doctor will do a biopsy, image testing or blood tests.
*Figures according to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA)