--> Skip to main content

Breast Cancer Stigma and Silence In Africa

Breast cancer research and stigma in Africa

In many African countries, breast cancer patients face stigmas and misperceptions. As in other parts of the world; a woman who has breast cancer may be seen as less than a woman.


In many African countries, breast cancer patients face stigmas and misperceptions. As in other parts of the world; a woman who has breast cancer may be seen as less than a woman. #cancer #breastcancer

Breast cancer stigma in Africa


In Africa, a major misconception about breast cancer is the belief cancer patients brought the disease on themselves and the disease is contagious. 

Other serious reasons are the lack of resources, social stigmatization, and religious beliefs can keep women from seeking help.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in Africa. The average age at which African women present with breast cancer is 35 - 45 years, 10 - 15 years earlier than their Caucasian counterparts. 

Patients in Africa often present with late-stage breast cancer that has spread to other organs and is very difficult to treat. The stigma around cancer is a relatively untapped field, while much research has been done around HIV/AIDS, which is also often highly stigmatized.


In some communities in Africa the stigma surrounding breast cancer is so great that people hide the disease from their family and friends and will not seek treatment until they are in severe pain.

Breast cancer makes you less than a woman


The stigma surrounding breast cancer is so great that people hide the disease from their family and friends and will not seek treatment until they are in severe pain. 

Women in communities where men are allowed more than one wife have a great fear of being disfigured by surgery and losing a husband and support for their children.

A woman who loses her breasts is seen as less than a woman. The preventive early screening for breast cancer is not utilized where available and this leads to unnecessary deaths. 

Also in some African communities, are Muslim and women cannot expose their breasts to a male doctor or nurse as part of a screening program.

Cancer patients in poor communities face unique challenges in having to cope with breast cancer. Not only do they have to deal with the life-changing emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis, but also with poverty, lack of access to care and dependence on their husbands for financial support who may hold sigma’s of their own about breast cancer.



Cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases characterized by the growth of abnormal cells beyond their usual boundaries that can then invade adjoining parts of the body and/or spread to other organs. Other common terms used are malignant tumors and neoplasms. Cancer can affect almost any part of the body and has many anatomic and molecular subtypes that each requires specific management strategies.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and is estimated to account for 9.6 million death in 2018. Lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach and liver cancer are the most common types of cancer in men, while breast, colorectal, lung, cervix and thyroid cancer are the most common among women. Breast cancer is less common in West African countries than it is in the United States.

Breast cancer is the second most common malignancy of women in the region, after cancer of the uterine cervix. Although breast cancer is thought to be a disease of the developed world, almost 50% of breast cancer cases and 58% of deaths occur in less developed countries. Incidence rates vary worldwide from 19.3 per 100,000 women in Eastern Africa to 89.7 per 100,000 women in Western Europe.

Breast cancer survival rates vary greatly worldwide, ranging from 80% or over in North America, Sweden and Japan to around 60% in middle-income countries and below 40% in low-income countries. The low survival rates in less developed countries can be explained mainly by the lack of early detection programs, resulting in a high proportion of women presenting with late-stage disease, as well as by the lack of adequate diagnosis and treatment facilities.


The differences in breast cancer incidence between developed and dietary effects combined with later first childbirth, lower parity, and shorter breastfeeding can partly explain developing countries. The increasing adoption of western lifestyle in low- and middle-income countries is an important determinant in the increase of breast cancer incidence in these countries.



Links to more valuable information

The stigma around breast cancer in Africa is a relatively untapped field, while much research has been done around HIV/AIDS, which is also often highly stigmatized.


Read more about women on the African continent.
The Black Natural and Weaved Hair That Divides Us
Emotional Impact of Infertility
Why People Are Given A Name African Folklore
Genes are speaking, ethnically and genetically diverse Africans
Accept Your Body African Proverbs


Chic African Culture and The African Gourmet=

Popular posts from this blog

Survival of the Fattest, obese Europeans starving Africa

Survival of the Fattest

Rich get richer Survival of the Fattest, obese Europeans starving Africa
Survival of the Fattest is a sculpture of a small starving African man, carrying Lady Justice, a huge obese European woman who is a symbol of the rich world. Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture
5-12-2016

Survival of the Fattest Meaning
The copper statue Survival of the Fattest by Jens Galschi√łt and Lars Calmar was created in 2002. The fat woman is holding a pair of scales as a symbol of justice however; she is closing her eyes so the justice. Galschiot symbolized the woman as being blind, refusing to see the obvious injustice.
For the rich people of the world the main issue in life is that of overeating while people in the third world are dying every day from hunger. 
The misery of imbalanced wealth distribution is creating floods of refugees. However the rich only want to preserve their privileges and take measures so harsh against the poor, they betray their morals …

South African Beef Curry Recipe

Perfect South African Apricot Beef Curry RecipeSouth African beef curry recipe is a South African food recipe to share around the world while learning about South Africa rainbow nation food history and favorite recipes of Black African, Colored mixed race ancestry, White, and Indian.

South African Beef Curry RecipeWhen it comes to quick and satisfying slow cooker crockpot meals South African Apricot Beef Curry recipe is at the top of the African food dinner recipe list. Use your slow cooker for this simple South African Apricot Beef Curry recipe, it is full of apricot jam, spices and tender beef to serve with rice and grilled bread. How to Make Perfect South African Apricot Beef Curry Recipe
Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture By Chic African Culture
African food recipe

South Africa food is one of the most diverse on the African continent. South African apricot beef curry is an easy delicious slow cooker dinner recipe to make on a weeknight.
South African Apricot Bee…

Charging Cell Phones in Rural Africa

Charging Cell Phones Rural Africa

Charging Cell Phones in Rural Africa

The simple task of charging a cell phone is no simple matter in rural African villages far from an electric grid.
With the advent of tiny rooftop solar panels electricity could be accessible to millions.
African governments are struggling to meet to electric needs of the poorest of the poor living in rural areas. 

Living off-grid may be a lifestyle choice to some and a fact of everyday living to the poorest of the poor. However, tiny rooftop solar panels and high-efficiency LED lights across the African continent could provide enough electricity to charge cell phones. 

Cell phones are vital for people in rural areas with no access to banks in order to send and receive money, access medical care and stay in contact with family and friends.
What does Off-Grid Mean? Off the grid (off-grid) means creating your own self-sufficient environment and being able to operate completely independently of all trad…
Peace, Love and Happiness to You Today