The month of October has been named Pink Month, where women in Uganda get to test for breast and cervical cancer for free or at a lower cost. Most female Ugandans are not aware of the importance of diagnosing cancer at an earlier stage and the higher chances of getting cured.
Breast and cervical cancer are two of the most common cancers affecting women in Uganda. Breast cancer is the leading cancer among women, accounting for approximately 25% of all cancer cases in the country. Cervical cancer is also significant, with Uganda having one of the highest incidence rates globally.
Every year in Uganda, 15,000 cancer cases are registered. Breast cancer and cervical cancer are the two types of cancer that affect women the most in the country.
There is a lack of awareness and knowledge about breast and cervical cancer among women in Uganda, particularly in rural areas. Many women are not familiar with the symptoms, risk factors, and importance of early detection. This leads to delayed diagnosis and limited access to appropriate treatment and care.
Various international organizations, NGOs, and government initiatives work towards raising awareness of breast and cervical cancer in Uganda. Partnerships and collaborations between these entities can help expand the reach of awareness campaigns, improve access to screening and treatment, and enhance overall women’s health services.
Breast mammograms and ultrasounds cost UGX 70,000 to 200,000, while pap smears cost UGX 30,000 to 150,000. Cambridge Health Uganda is running a Pink October Offer at Forest Mall-Lugogo in Kampala to help women. Free breast cancer screening and cervical cancer screening at UGX 10,000 breast ultrasound scan lowered to UGX 10,000. The promotion extends through October 2023.
Breast cancer was 37.6 per 100,000, with 831 cases in the years 2011–2015. According to our projection, its burden is expected to increase substantially to 48.4 per 100,000 women per year by 2030, with an expected 1310 new cases between 2026 and 2030, while Uganda has a population of 13.1 million women ages 15 years and older who are at risk of developing cervical cancer. Current estimates indicate that every year, 6959 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 4607 die from the disease.
Breast cancer in Uganda is the third-commonest cancer in women, coming only next to cancer of the cervix and Kaposi’s sarcoma. The incidence of breast cancer in Uganda has doubled, from 11:100,000 in 1961 to 22:100,000 in 1995. Unfortunately, the cases are often seen in late stages, so the outcome of treatment is inevitably unsatisfactory.