KIGALI - The Breast Cancer Initiative East Africa Inc. (BCIEA) will on Sunday hold its first Ulinzi Walk in Kigali, to increase awareness on breast cancer and replace fear with hope among patients.
The campaign will be led by Philippa Kibugu Decuir, a breast cancer survivor, who is also the founder and director of BCIEA.
According to one of the organizers, Anne Rugege, the walk which will start from Rwanda Development Board offices to Amahoro National Stadium, will be attended by well-wishers, partners, breast cancer survivors and patients.
“We want to create awareness among women so that they can frequently visit the doctor for check ups,” said Rugege.
“Early detection remains the best protection against death from breast cancer. Reports show that the majority of women diagnosed early with breast cancer survive. Breast cancer awareness remains an important part of early detection”.
During an earlier interview, Decuir told The New Times that participants from all walks of life across the country will walk together in solidarity to be equipped with skills to manage breast cancer as the global search to find a cure ensues.
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 less developed countries, the rate of early detection and treatment lags behind.
“We want every woman and man, (men can get breast cancer too) to understand that although causes of breast cancer are unknown, 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
Also, reports indicate that 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.