Over 80% of breast cancer cases in Zimbabwe are diagnosed at advanced stage

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in Zimbabwe after cervical cancer.

Many women in Zimbabwe face socioeconomic barriers to accessing oncology care, chemotherapy and other treatments for breast cancer. Over 80% of breast cancer cases in Zimbabwe are diagnosed at advanced stage, according to the Zimbabwe National Cancer Registry (ZNCR).

Limited access to screening services and lack of adequate knowledge of the symptoms and signs of breast cancer are other barriers faced by women in the country.

Consistently working towards increasing awareness about breast cancer year-round is necessary. Awareness empowers women to understand the importance of screening, early detection, early signs and symptoms to look out for and seek medical attention early.

Breast cancer symptoms and signs in women:

  • a lump, or swelling in your breast, chest or armpit
  • a change in the skin of your breast, such as dimpling (may look like orange peel) or redness (may be harder to see on black or brown skin)
  • a change in size or shape of one or both breasts
  • nipple discharge (if you are not pregnant or breastfeeding), which may have blood in it.
  • a change in the shape or look of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast. or a rash on it (may look like eczema)
  • pain in your breast or armpit which does not go away – breast pain that comes and goes is usually not a symptom of breast cancer. It’s important to check your breast regularly so you know that is normal for you. Source NHS.