October is Breast Cancer Month, and as the voice of the medical technology industry, the South African Medical Technology Industry Association (SAMED) supports patients, civil society formations and healthcare practitioners in giving attention to what is today the most common cancer among South African women.1

Medtech solutions touch every stage of breast cancer: from risk assessment, screening and early detection, diagnosis, therapy and treatments, monitoring and follow-up to end-of-life care. The medical technology industry is continually advancing and developing innovations that improve the health and wellbeing of patients living with a cancer diagnosis.

Breast Cancer Stats

“COVID-19 has disrupted routine screening for breast cancer, and other conditions that, when detected early, are easier, more successful and less risky and costly to manage,” says Tanya Vogt, the Executive Officer from SAMED. “We urge patients and their health service providers to prioritise women’s health and use the opportunity of the easing of lockdown to ensure women get access to life-saving cancer screening and other relevant services.”

“Breast cancer is one of the most curable cancers if diagnosed early. Women should make sure that they do their breast self-examination on a monthly basis. If you discover anything abnormal, consult your healthcare professional. Clinical breast examinations are the preferred way of screening for breast disease. Early diagnosis can save your life as your treatment outcomes are optimal in stage 1 and 2, as stages 3 and 4 become more difficult to manage. Know your risk and if you are diagnosed with breast cancer, make sure that you have appropriate emotional support to navigate you through your journey,” advises Salomé Meyer, project manager for the Cancer Alliance’s Access to Medicine Campaign.

1 https://cansa.org.za/womens-health/
2 https://gco.iarc.fr/today/data/factsheets/populations/710-south-africa-fact-sheets.pdf
3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6733830/
4 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32096932/
5 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/breast-cancer/diagnosis-treatment/drc-0352475#:~:text=A%20biopsy%20is%20the%20only,tissue%20from%20the%20suspicious%20area