By A Correspondent- Irked by the challenges faced by cancer victims and survivors in a nation plagued by increasing cancer cases, breast cancer survivor, Makosi Musambasi through her foundation, Sister’s Keeper has embarked on a cancer awareness drive through a golf tournament.
Last Thursday, Musambasi and her team were at the Royal Harare Golf Course playing golf for cancer in a move aimed at raising awareness and encouraging Zimbabweans to prioritise regular cancer screening to save lives.
“The Sister’s Keeper Kitty Tournament started in Nigeria, so we did the first one in 2021, we did another one last year and this is the third one.”
A breast cancer survivor, Musambasi traced her journey with the disease revealing how she was diagnosed and the various procedures she did in the fight against cancer.
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a mastectomy, I had chemotherapy and I had radiotherapy but I was very lucky because I was diagnosed at stage two which is very early. So, that’s why I survived, I had a 50-50 chance of either surviving or dying.”
She emphasized the importance of raising cancer awareness adding that when diagnosed early, the chances of saving lives are high.
“Playing gold for cancer is raising awareness, because when cancer is detected early, it saves lives. It’s only when it is diagnosed late that people are dying of cancer. The purpose of this tournament is to say, if you are a woman, or a man, because men are also getting breast cancer, check yourself every morning in the shower. Go for mammograms.
There is no age when it comes to cancer so, as long as you have breasts, start checking yourself. I was diagnosed at 35 and some people are dying even younger, eat healthy and exercise.”
According to FactCheck Zimbabwe, a local independent, non-partisan Zimbabwean online fact–checking platform dedicated to playing a watchdog role by fact–checking news and information, breast cancer is the second most prevalent for Zimbabwean women.
Reports FactCheck Zimbabwe:
“While the causes of breast cancer are not fully understood, there are a number of factors associated with the risk of developing the disease. Some of the risk factors include, being a woman, increasing age, having a strong family history of breast cancer, a number of hormonal factors, personal and lifestyle factors and race or ethnicity.
Speaking at the same tournament, golf coach, Simon Murungweni emphasised the importance of cancer awareness and encouraging people to go for early screening using acceptable medium such as sport.
“On the golf course people are relaxed and also the news spreads fast because it’s a clean sport to raise awareness with and a lot of programmes happen through the golf course, so golf is a good medium to spread to the cancer awareness message.”
Proceeds from the event which attracted golf enthusiasts, policy makers, leaders in society, and businesses will go towards funding breast cancer awareness programmes.