The Cancer Association of South Africa’s (CANSA) eight mobile health clinics travel to remote rural areas throughout South Africa to provide free Pap smears and clinical breast examinations to women who would otherwise not have the opportunity to get screened for cervical and breast cancer.
Regular cancer screening (for cervical, breast, prostate and colorectal cancers) is also done at CANSA’s more than 50 Care Centres countrywide.
The new developments in cancer screening technology mean that screening is becoming simpler and less painful. CANSA, a leader in cancer control in Southern Africa, is already using the technologically advanced FotoFinder to identify malignant moles on the skin.
Other new developments include a finger-prick PSA test that is replacing the well-known PSA test whereby blood is drawn from a vein in the arm and sent to a laboratory for analysis. CANSA will introduce the finger-prick test November 2011 when it starts focusing on different types of cancer affecting men during their Men’s Health awareness campaign.
The CANSA is also pioneering a practical way for South Africans to be safe in the sun. The CANSA UV-Smart Armband monitors the intensity of harmful UV-rays by turning darker in colour as the UV-rays intensify. Each shade of colour corresponds with a protection recommendation that one can follow to avoid sunburn.
The UV-Smart Armband sells for R30 each and is available in blue, pink and purple, in adult and child sizes.
The extent of free screening services depends on the availability of funding.
For more information about CANSA’s screening programmes or to make a donation, visit the CANSA website or call the Toll-Free 0800 22 66 22.