High Tea at Kenton Asian in support of breast cancer awareness

CHECK YOUR BREASTS: That was the overall message of professional nurse, Paula Stander, at the Kenton Asian High Tea in her effort to spread the message during Breast Cancer Awareness Month Picture: ROB KNOWLES

Despite the breezy wind, Saturday morning, October 23, proved to be bright and sunny, a good omen as the morning was centred around breast cancer awareness at Kenton Asian, where professional nurse, midwife and palliative care nurse Paula Stander gave a talk on the importance of self-examination.

“It is very important that women check their breasts at least once a month in order to ascertain and changes to their bodies,” she told the 100-strong audience.

“Breast cancer can develop in woman at any age, from teenagers to grandmothers, and early detection is a key to survival. And don’t forget, men can also develop breast cancer. But, on examining yourself, do you know what you are looking for?”

She went on to say that, as all breasts are different, it was important that women know their own bodies to identify any abnormalities. She then gave a demonstration on the best method to check the breast by bringing the arm up, around the back of the head and then gently and lightly squeezing the breast to detect lumps, weeping nipples and any irregularities in the shape and contours of the breast.

“In the past survival was relatively low, but today it is better than 90% of women who develop breast cancer survive. Early detection is the key,” said Stander.

She said that poor diet among other contributing factors can be to blame for instances of breast cancer and that women do not listen to their bodies, but rather mothers focus on their children, husbands and other family members and friends before themselves. She also said that women often felt embarrassed to talk about problems they might be experiencing with their breasts.

“Perhaps you know the local GP well and do not feel comfortable talking to them about personal issues,” said Stander. “But there are alternatives, women doctors you can speak to, or someone at the local hospital or clinic.”

Stander recommended testing yourself five days after your period, when hormone levels return to normal.

“Spread the information around. It is something that all women should know about,” she said in closing.

The High Tea was prepared by Peter Wansbury and consisted of a range of canapes and sweet pastries and was washed down with a coffee tasting, provided by Manuel Lago of Carraro Coffee in Newton Park, Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth).

Altogether, the morning was a huge success which also included raffles and prizes for lucky attendees.

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