Breast cancer is very common in women of all races, with a lifetime risk of 1 in 35 in South Africa. Although breast cancer is mainly found in women, some men also develop breast cancer, although it is 100 times less common.
Breast cancer survival rates have increased, and the number of deaths has been declining thanks to a number of factors such as earlier detection, new treatments and a better understanding of the disease.
In many parts of the world, especially in Africa, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people face hostility, discrimination and danger. Although the South African constitution clearly condemns discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, many LGBTI people in South Africa continue to face severe discrimination and victimisation on a daily basis.
WSW are generally at very low risk of HIV infection, whereas bisexual women are at higher risk. Sex between two women is not always safe, and WSW are just as vulnerable to certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as women who have sex with men. It is important for women to know the risks and how to protect themselves.
Cervical cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related deaths of women on the African continent. All women are at risk, including lesbians. In South Africa, 1 in 42 women get cervical cancer, which, after breast cancer, is the second most common cause of cancer amongst South African women. Over half of the women diagnosed are between the ages of 35 and 55. Early cervical cancer can be cured.