The Breast Cancer Initiative East Africa Inc. (BCIEA) will on June 12, hold its first Ulinzi Walk in Kigali, to increase awareness about breast cancer and replace fear with hope amongst patients.
The campaign will be led by Philippa Kibugu Decuir, a breast cancer survivor, who is also the founder and director of BCIEA.
“Participants from all walks of life across the country will walk together in solidarity so that we can be equipped with what it takes to manage it as we join in the global search to find a cure,” she said.
“It is one step towards achieving the result from our goal: proactively addressing the burden of cancer in the region by making it everyone’s business”.
“We want every woman and man, (men can get breast cancer too) to understand that although causes of breast cancer are not known, research has identified breast cancer risk factors, some of which may be controlled to prevent cancer; as well as the importance of early detection, Decuir noted”
The World Health Organisation reports that 30 percent of cancer ailments are preventable, which underscores the principle, ‘knowledge is power’.
Every 68 seconds, a woman dies of breast cancer somewhere in the world. By 2020, it is estimated that 70 percent of all breast cancer cases, worldwide, will occur in developing countries.
Unfortunately, as the rate of breast cancer increases in lesser developed countries, the rate of early detection and treatment lags behind.
While a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient in America has numerous treatment options backed by a support system of a multi disciplinary medical team, a woman in East Africa has nothing.
“The objectives of the Ulinzi Breast Cancer Walk are to create awareness about breast cancer in East Africa and replace fear with hope,” Kibugu-Decuir emphasised.