Church programme advocates early detection

Next week the View Church will be open for free breast examinations.

The View Church in Table View will become a walk-in centre for free breast exams on Tuesday August 7.

The project is run in partnership with the non-profit Sharing Abundant Life Together (SALT), the Pink Drive and Stellenbosch University’s faculty of medicine and health sciences.

Advanced midwifery students from the university will be doing the examinations at 14 breast stations set up in the church on the corner of Blaauwberg Road and Wood Drive.

Health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo and a breast-cancer survivor will give talks and there will be a breast-care presentation.

SALT volunteer Carol Vivian-Coetzee said they hoped to screen 200 women from their Isidima programme – which helps vulnerable women and children, senior women, safety parents, and women with life-threatening illnesses – from 9am to noon and then open the examinations to the public from noon to 4pm.

Ms Vivian-Coetzee said women who had lumps in their breasts would get hospital referral letters.

“We don’t want anyone to leave here with the fear of a lump without having a follow-up plan,” she said.

The screening is also open to women with or without medical aid.

“All women are welcome but we are targeting women 40 years and older and women with a family history of cancer. Also for those women who have any concern and feel the need for a check-up, they are more than welcome.”

She said the women would be in a safe environment where they would be treated with dignity and respect. Pastor at View Church, Dr Leanne Greeff, said they were honoured to have top breast surgeon, Dr Jenny Edge, as well as the advanced midwifery students as part of the programme.

“What we’ve realised is that prevention is so much better than cure. Early detection is key,” said Dr Greeff.

She said to help put the women at ease there will be entertainment, including an army band and marimba band.

* For more information, call 021 557 3948.