- Name: Uwimbabazi Emerthe
- Disease: Breast Cancer
- Contact: 0785745258
I am Emerthe Uwimbabazi from Kigali City. I am 34 years old and have been living with Breast Cancer since 2015.
It is really difficult when it comes to a person living with breast cancer. The way you settle in society is no longer the same, you start to feel ashamed mainly. I acquired it while I was a girl, it was not easy. It is not easy at all, people discouraged me, and they were telling me that I will never get a husband. I started feeling useless and that I was going to die. In the beginning, you feel like life is not going on and you feel depressed, simply you feel like it is the end.
We can’t bypass the existing gap in awareness about breast cancer. In Rwanda, women do not yet understand things related to breast cancer. Awareness campaigns took place, conferences took place and presentations took place but they still have little knowledge.
Like a shred of evidence, most people fear getting diagnosed. People can feel sick and sense a lymph/tumour in the breast but are afraid to go for diagnosis by fearing that it is cancer. That results in people starting treatment very late and might lead to death.
There is an improvement in the treatment of breast cancer within the country. At the time we started to get treated for breast cancer, wherever we were in the country we were supposed to go to BUTARO cancer centre of excellence, now things change. There is the additional treatment of breast cancer in Kanombe Military Hospital.
What I think can be done in terms of great coverage of breast cancer disease is to boost awareness campaigns. Everyone can be sick and life keeps moving on and keeps doing what they used to do without change. The way she interacts with others, those you wear and life move on without thinking a lot about yourself.
Sometimes people are afraid to tell others that they have cancer or even fail to go to work somewhere so as to escape questions from people about their life.
People should know that when breast cancer is detected at an early stage, it is cured. This is not yet well understood.
We are grateful for the Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Health by bringing the treatment at Kanombe Military Hospital. We can’t forget thanking civil society especially Rwanda NCD Alliance for advocating and raising awareness on breast cancer and other non-communicable diseases in general. The special thanks to Ms Phillipa for initiating the Breast Cancer Initiative East Africa (BCEIA) where everyone put down their burden on breast cancer and feel relieved and valuable in the community. We have hope that efforts in your collaboration should improve breast cancer awareness.