Facing breast cancer with hope and positivity.
Whether you are living with cancer or a cancer survivor, most of those affected always have questions about their futures.
Incidences of breast cancer are on the rise especially among developing nations largely attributed to urbanization and the adoption of western lifestyles.
As early diagnosis and treatments for breast cancer improve, women are not only surviving the disease but are living longer.
Dr. J. Githinji from Doctors’ Plaza in Meru County says “Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting women in our current times. The sad news is; it is not discriminating in terms of age as any woman of childbearing age is prone to breast cancer”
He adds that “Medical and surgical management comes in handy in the management of breast cancer. Once confirmed, it might lead to a surgical procedure involving removing of all or part of the breast on the affected side; a procedure known as mastectomy”
When this procedure occurs, especially for women at an age below 45 years, it could come with a lot of stigmatization especially with the fact that everyone notices an absent breast.
“With these came in breast prosthesis which is introduced and fitted on the excised breast. This is only fitted when the breast is well-healed post-operation. It is quite necessary because it helps one feel socially accepted with no stigma or explanations” Dr. Githinji adds.
Elizabeth Njeri, a cancer survivor from Nyeri County says, in collaboration with other cancer survivors, they formed and registered a networking group that spearheads fighting the stigma against breast cancer in the County.
“I am a breast cancer survivor…people did not understand what was cancer…there was a lot of stigma and you felt like you are on your own…so we started a small group around 2014 and registered Slopes Cancer Awareness Network…”
“Our aim was to really help the survivors feel good…and because I was a tailor, I began making breast forms and gave them to the cancer warriors…you could see the smile after giving them the breast forms” She adds.
They however had no sewing machines to facilitate their prudent work but thanks to Safaricom Foundation through Ndoto Zetu Initiative, a partnership to support cancer warriors in fighting the stigma and increase awareness about Cancer was born.
“We did not have sewing machines but we heard about Safaricom Foundation and that is when we applied to get some help and luckily enough we got the machines and through this, we were able to get more orders,” Elizabeth explains.
“We believed in ourselves and our dreams. Safaricom Foundation also believed in our abilities. Thank you so much Safaricom Foundation for coming through” She avers.
Safaricom Foundation has donated sewing machines to the foundation which will create employment in their local communities and transform lives through the making of more breast forms.
While explaining about the prosthesis, Dr. Githinji says “Rumors about tumor recurrence when women start using prosthetic breast fitted bras is a myth with no basis and does not hold water. Let’s encourage our cancer survivors to use the breast forms because it helps in cosmesis and social acceptance”
This year, Safaricom has partnered with communities from across 47 counties to bring their dreams to life. Over 400 projects will be implemented directly impacting over one million Kenyans.
Through the #NdotoZetuUwezoWetu Initiative, Safaricom Foundation is on a journey towards transforming the lives of hundreds of entrepreneurs for the betterment of society.