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S/Africa to offer free screening services to mark World Cancer Day

The South African government will on Saturday offer free cancer screening and other health services as parts of efforts to promote early detection of the disease that claims millions of lives in the country every year.In a statement ahead of commemorations of World Cancer Day on Saturday, the Ministry of Health said a range of free health services would be offered to South Africans, including mammograms, pap smears, and clinical breast examinations. 

The outreach programme seeks to raise awareness, improve education and increase access to life-saving cancer treatment to all citizens, it said.

“Lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach and liver cancer are the most common types of cancer in men, while breast, colorectal, lung, cervical and thyroid cancer are the most common among women,” the ministry said.

It is estimated that in 2020 almost 110,000 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in South Africa, with more than 56,000 cancer-related deaths.

The ministry said over one-third of cancers are preventable – which means cancer risk can be reduced – when patients seek early screening and testing.   

Deputy Health Minister Sibongiseni Dhlomo is expected to lead the awareness programme in Johannesburg to urge citizens the importance of regular cancer screening and testing for early detection, prevention, risk reduction and successful treatment. 

Themed “Close the Care Gap”, the occasion would recognise the power of working together among the government, private sector and civil society to make a difference and real progress in reducing the global impact of cancer.

The outreach programme is being held in collaboration with the Pink Drive Organisation as part of the 2023 World Cancer Day commemorative activities which fall on February 4 annually.

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