Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga shares her battle with Cancer


Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga revealed at a Breast Cancer Awareness Month webinar hosted by Justine/Avon yesterday she was in denial for a year after being diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago.

The minister was jolted into getting treatment when her oncologist told her she had to find another doctor after she kept postponing treatment.

"I had enjoyed good health all my life and was not feeling sick at all. I was in complete denial after I first detected the lump in my breast and they later told me it was cancerous. I told myself, why would I need to go through chemotherapy and even have the possibility of being told I needed my breast to be cut if I wasn't feeling sick" she shared.

She said she was in denial for a long time, adding how important it was to note all the emotions any woman diagnosed with breast cancer go through on their journey.

Motshekga shared it also took her a long time to reveal the news to her husband, former ANC Chief Whip and long-serving MP Mathole Motshekga. "My husband is the most caring person, but I thought it would wreck him to start seeing me as this dying wife."

Stressing that breast cancer presented itself to women of all ages and status, the minister said it was important to start awareness campaigns at schools to educate young girls as it can be cured if detected early. She said even though she didn't look forward to chemotherapy, she was grateful today that after only six months of treatment, she's been cancer-free for nine years.

The minister was joined on the panel by actress and double breast cancer survivor Lillian Dube, who spoke about addressing sexuality of cancer survivors.

Pulling no punches, Dube explained many women experienced dry vaginas and found sex painful during and after treatment. She said it was important to empower women how to reclaim their mojo after surviving cancer.

Other members on the panel facilitated by Dr Molefi Molefi included professor Carol Benn from Helen Joseph Hospital, who spoke about breast cancer surgeries and said women as young as 29 were now presenting with the cancer on a regular basis.


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