Believe it or not Male breast cancer is causing havoc across Africa as it goes unnoticed, speaking to locals across many walks of life, the common belief is that Male breast cancer is a myth perpetuated by white cultural beliefs as no male can suffer from breast cancer.
Culturally Africa is very slow to adapt to challenges and realities of life, and this has cost us precious lives to preventable deaths that has claimed lives due to cultural beliefs.
The proliferation of Male breast cancer has continued to rock many parts of Africa and it can all be traced back to our culture of stereotyping everything feminine as white mans trash.
At Helen Joseph Hospital Breast Clinic in Johannesburg, Thami Mabuza recently had his fears confirmed when a routine check found a lump in his chest, he never could have imagined it was breast cancer if he did not show up for the test.
Noticing that everyone lined up in the clinic was a woman Thami perched himself between two women who were waiting to be seen by the practice doctors who attends to patients with no medicare cover.
The Reality Of Male Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the leading cancer in women globally, according to the World Health Organisation. The national cancer registry estimates that it accounts for over 20% of all cancers in South African women.
Less than 1% “Men can also get breast cancer although it is rare when compared to female breast cancer,” says Carol Benn, a specialist breast surgeon.
“But male breast cancer is the same as breast cancer in women and the treatment is the same.”
According to a 2016 article in the American Journal of Men’s Health, male breast cancer accounts for less than 1% of the global cancer incidence. But the figure is believed to be as high as 6% in Africa.
“In South Africa the incidence of male breast cancer is not well documented, but was recorded as 2.4% of all breast cancer cases,” the study notes.