Zoleka Mandela opens up on the stigma she faced when she suffered from breast cancer

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October marks six years since Zoleka Mandela was first diagnosed with breast cancer and she's incredibly grateful that emerged victorious against the disease.

In a heartfelt post Zoleka reflected on being one of the blessed few to beat the disease with the help of a strong support system around her.

"I am one of the lucky few who are heard, who don’t lose a job, a husband or friends as a result of a disease that can be beaten, who actually get to survive and tell their story, who are diagnosed and tested early enough at private hospitals, who can afford the medication prescribed (for 5-10yrs) to prevent recurrence, who have the opportunity to use platforms such as these to give real accounts of what being diagnosed with breast cancer entails, who don’t have to worry about paying more medical care than they can actually afford, who have graduated and still earn an income after beating cancer twice," she said.

Zoleka questioned the impact the stigma attached to the disease had on other women who aren't as privileged as her.

"But what about all those women who aren’t Zoleka Mandela and who continuously miss out on surviving the disease because of the difficulties still faced by millions of women – simply because of stigma, how much money they make, where they live in this world or who they are considered to be in society?"

Read her full post here:

View this post on Instagram

This month of October marks 6yrs since my 1st Chemotherapy treatment, in these past years, I have had numerous IVF, Chemotherapy and Radiation treatments as well as various surgeries due to my Breast Cancer diagnosis in 2012 and 2016. I am one of the lucky ones who gets to share their journey, who get to fall pregnant (naturally) without IVF and even after Breast Cancer, who get to live and to survive the disease twice, who have access to an efficient health system with treatments from some of the county’s best specialists, who could afford to take Uber’s to hospital almost everyday to receive 30 Radiation treatments, who had the money to buy any medication prescribed to counteract the symptoms of treatment, who never walked into a surgery/consultation room without a loved one, who has the privilege of saying that even after 6yrs – they’ll postpone their nipple surgery until they feel like it or after they decide whether they are happy with their current breast size or not, who was lucky enough to write a book in between Chemo treatments, who has loved ones waiting hand and foot to provide financial, emotional and physical support … I am one of the lucky few who are heard, who don’t lose a job, a husband or friends as a result of a disease that can be beaten, who actually get to survive and tell their story, who are diagnosed and tested early enough at private hospitals, who can afford the medication prescribed (for 5-10yrs) to prevent recurrence, who have the opportunity to use platforms such as these to give real accounts of what being diagnosed with Breast Cancer entails, who don’t have to worry about paying more medical care than they can actually afford, who have graduated and still earn an income after beating Cancer twice … But what about all those women who aren’t Zoleka Mandela and who continuously miss out on surviving the disease because of the difficulties STILL faced by millions of women – simply because of STIGMA, how much money they make, where they live in this world or who they are considered to be in society? #KnowYourCancer #SilenceCancer #ZolekaMandela #ZolekaMandelaFoundation #WhenHopeWhispers #BreastCancerSurvivor #BreastCancer

A post shared by Zoleka Mandela (@zolekamandela) on

-Times Live


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