The top 5 most common cancers in South Africa

It was recorded by the Global Cancer Observatory that the
top 5 Cancers in South Africa by new cases recorded are:

1. Breast cancer at 14.3%

2. Prostate cancer at 12.2%

3. Cervical cancer at 9.9%

4. Lung cancer at 8.3%

5. Colorectal cancer at 6.8%

Warning signs to look out for

The below warning signs were retrieved from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

1. Breast cancer

  • Lump in your breast or armpit.
  • Thickening or swelling of parts of your breast.
  • Redness and flaky skin in the nipple area or breast.
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk.
  • Any change in the size or shape of your breast.
  • Pain in any area of your breast.

2. Prostate cancer

  • Difficulty or pain when urinating.
  • Weak or interrupted urine flow and trouble emptying your bladder completely.
  • Urinating often, especially at night.
  • Blood in urine or semen.
  • Constant pain in the back, hips or pelvis.
  • Painful ejaculation

3. Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer does not show symptoms early on. However, advanced cervical cancer shows the following signs:

  • Bleeding or discharge that is not normal for you.
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse.

4. Lung Cancer

  • Coughing that gets worse or does not go away.
  • Chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Unexplained weight loss.

5. Colorectal cancer

  • Change in bowel movements.
  • Blood is present in or on your stool.
  • Diarrhoea, constipation or the feeling that your bowel does not empty all the way.
  • Constant abdominal pain, aches or cramps.
  • Unexplained weight loss.

Cancer awareness.

Among females, breast cancer may have the top incidence rate; however, cervical cancer has the highest mortality rate.

By increasing cancer awareness, we can help people take preventative measures against cancer and aid them in identifying risk factors and even detecting cancers earlier on.

The increased awareness will allow people to make informed decisions, live healthier lifestyles, and change unfavourable habits.

Remember, an early diagnosis greatly increases your survival rate, allowing you to live your best life.

This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance. 


CDC. (n.d.). Retrieved from CDC:

GCO. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Global Cancer Observatory:

NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from National Center for Biotechnology Information:


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