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Mediclinic News : New legislation in advanced stage


New legislation in advanced stage




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CAPE ARGUS Breast cancer advocates have called for draft legislation that promotes breast health to be fast-tracked, arguing the policy would result in equitable and sustainable treatment of breast cancer. Advocates for Breast Cancer (ABC) – a group of breast cancer organisations in South Africa lobbying for a standardised treatment of breast cancer – said despite alarming rates of this disease it was still not prioritised and staff at clinics knew little about it. The draft legislation is currently being drawn up by the National Department of Health. According to the Cancer Registry, one in every 31 women in South Africa will develop breast cancer in their life time. In the Western Cape 1 in 10 women will have breast cancer during their life-time. The Tygerberg Breast Clinic, which is one of the two clinics in the province to prioritise breast cancer treatment, currently sees about 550 breast cancer patients. Louise Turner from Breast Health Foundation, one of the organisations that form ABC, said poor access to health centres and poor education prevented women from seeking treatment on time. She said a poor referral system from clinics to tertiary hospital meant many women had to wait up to nine months before receiving treatment. She said the new policy would see breast cancer care “standardised and equitable”. Turner said the policy will ensure they are educated and there will be trained nurses to do clinical examinations and quicker referral when they present to the clinics. Joe Maila, spokesman for Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, said the process of developing the new legislation was in advanced stages. Professor Justus Apffelstaedt, who heads Tygerberg Hospital Breast Clinic, said local research showed many women presented to breast clinics with advanced stage 3 to 4 disease, and about five percent with early breast cancer. This resulted in resource-intensive treatment, but poor outcomes. Apffelstaedt said of patients with stage 2 disease, after five years only 66 percent of them were alive without the disease; the respective figures for stage 3 and 4 disease were 40 and five percent, respectively.
Created at 2016/10/18 04:53 PM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2016/10/18 04:53 PM by Mediclinic