Cancer and Tobacco Control Multimedia Women's Health

‘€œI am scared’€: the frightening reality of breast cancer

Written by Fathima Simjee

Breast cancer is the most common female cancer in South Africa, affecting approximately 1 in every 29 women. Whilst cancer cannot always be prevented, early detection does allow for a greater chance of a full recovery. In this insert Nosipho Mgoma shares her reality of breast cancer and shows that it can affect younger woman and if detected late, can have devastating consequences.


Nosipho Mgoma

Nosipho Mgoma is 36 years old. She collapsed one day on her way to work and was rushed to hospital. There she discovered that her body was riddled with cancer.

Every day. Every day. Some days are worst that this. Some days when I stand up and try to do something I just collapse in the kitchen. They will have to come and take me and put me back in bed.

I have breast cancer, but it has spread to the brain, the spine, the liver and lungs, up to the bones

Because her cancer is so advanced she needs aggressive chemotherapy treatment.

Now that’€™s a horrible experience. From the chemo, because I use public transport, I could arrive here at home, I feel nauseas. I sleep a lot I don’€™t eat, I vomit.

Nosipho has a 9 year old daughter Gugulethu. She’€™s desperately worried what will happen to her.

Now my daughter has been affected because she sees me every day in pain, she she’€™s me every day in tears, and I think now she carries that you know. And she starts to lag at school,

I tell her that mummy’€™s sick and mummy some day is going to die. You will be alone and then you will have to do things for yourself so that is why I’€™m teaching you now

I am scared. Because maybe if I didn’€™t have child, I wouldn’€™t be scared, but because I have a child I’€™m scared. Coz I think no one is going to love my child like I love her. I can leave her with my family but the love of a mother, she won’€™t get it.

If her cancer had been found earlier it wouldn’€™t have spread so far.   Every day she is fighting for her life.

So you know ultimately one day you’€™re not going to wake up. But I try not to put it in my mind you know. I try to live everyday to the best. Do what I can do for one day. If I can’€™t do much today, I will try tomorrow.

About the author

Fathima Simjee

Fathima Simjee is a television journalist with Health-e News. You can follow her on Twitter @FatzSimjee