Working for Change 385
Many cancers can be cured, but others cannot, especially if the
cancer has spread to several parts of the body. Also, hospitals
that treat cancer are often far away, in large cities, and
treatment is costly.
Sometimes, when cancer is found late, there
is no cure. Then it may be best to stay at
home in the care of your family. This time
can be very difficult. Eat as well as you
can and get enough rest. Medicines for
pain, anxiety, and sleeping problems
can make you more comfortable
(see page 482). Talking with
someone close to you can
help you prepare for death, and help you
plan for your family’s future after you are gone.
If you are caring for someone who must stay in bed, or who is near death, see
the information on the following pages: 142, 143, 306, 308, 309, and 372.
Many unnecessary deaths from cancer could be prevented if
more cancers were found and treated earlier. To help make this
happen, organize women and men to promote:
• better cancer screening in local health services and rural areas.
• training for local health workers to do visual inspection for
cancer of the cervix, Pap tests, and breast exams.
• health worker training and equipment to do cryotherapy.
• better education and more community awareness about how
cancer can be prevented, who is at risk, what the warning
signs are, and the benefits of cancer screening.
• cheap HPV tests, and lower cost care for women who have
It is also important for women to:
• learn to do breast self-examinations.
• know the signs of cancer, especially cancer of the womb,
breast, and cervix.
When people in the community know more about the things
that are likely to cause cancer, they may be better able to avoid
them. This could prevent many cancers from starting. Help
people in your community learn that they can prevent many
unnecessary deaths from cancer if they avoid smoking or chewing
tobacco, and if women are able to protect themselves from STIs.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012