By Charndré Emma Kippie
Raising Awareness is Key
PinkDrive NPC is a popular health sector NGO in South Africa which was launched back in 2009 by Noelene Kotschan. Kotschan and her team strongly believed that early detection would assist in prolonging the lives of those diagnosed with cancer.
As such, today, PinkDrive’s primary goal is to make a positive impact in society and make a positive contribution to preventing as many individuals as possible from succumbing to the various forms of cancer. At its core, the organisation aims to create better access to quality care for those affected by cancer, especially those who reside in areas which lack reasonable health facilities and services.
PinkDrive advocates that treatable cancers should at least receive basic levels of care, and that such efforts could lead to an extended life for those afflicted. The key, here, is early detection and treatment.
Thus, PinkDrive stands as a dedicated promoter of health awareness in general, and specifically health education and increasing awareness of gender-related cancers found in South Africa.
To be the leading non-governmental organisation dedicated to creating and promoting awareness about cancer in South Africa, and potentially beyond.
Promote awareness and early detection of, and screening for gender-related cancers in the general population of South Africa, using the message ‘Early detection will help to prolong life.’
Integrity, accountability, discipline, passionate giving, teamwork & Open-mindedness.
Making A Difference
At the PinkDrive, there are four principal interventions which occur via the NPO’s flagship programmes. PinkDrive and More Balls Than Most are channelled through mobile point-of-contact service delivery conducted by skilled certificated medical and nursing practitioners.
- Clinical Breast Exams: A mass screening service provided to women and men of all ages. This service includes one-on-one cancer education focusing on self-examinations as well as a breast examination.
- Mammograms: A select screening service primarily provided for women over the age of 40, unless they are referred for a mammogram by a Doctor.
- Pap Smears: Cervical Cancer Screening.
- Prostate Specific Antigen Test (PSA): These tests are a form of rapid testing for men above the age of 40 years old. These tests are administered by testing an adequate sample of blood taken from a subject.
Embracing A Healthier Lifestyle
Many studies show a link between certain lifestyle habits and increased chances of developing some kinds of cancer. This is why PinkDrive believes in educating society on lifestyle changes that could limit risk factors.
Janice Benecke, who is the PinkDrive Administrator, has previously shared that one of the major contributing factors to breast cancer is being overweight, carrying unhealthy fat around your organs and living a sedentary lifestyle.
“Exercising for at least 20 minutes a day, three to four times a week, lowers your risk of heart disease as it gets the blood flowing. It also reduces the risk of cancer by 50 percent and lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes. Exercising also keeps your mind active and healthy- this does not mean it will prevent you from getting breast cancer, it will simply reduce the risk”, said Benecke.
“We should try our best to eat healthy and include the five food groups into our diet daily. We know this is hard to do at times but let us try to correct our eating habits and drink lots of water.”
- If breast cancer is found in a mammogram, there is a possibility that it may have been in your system for 6-10 years.
- Breast cancer mortality rates are actually declining.
- At present, there is no research that conclusively indicates how to prevent breast cancer.
- Risk of breast cancer increases with age; 50% of breast cancer occurs among women aged 62 years or older.
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases your risk of breast cancer.
- Mammograms can only help and not harm you.
In South Africa, as per 5 October 2021:
- 22 380 Mammograms
- 152 747 Clinical Breast Examinations
- 3 321 Male Breast Check Examinations
- 425 809 Women Educated on Breast Health
- 43 034 Men Educated on Prostate Cancer
- 16 012 PSA Testing
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