Cancer stigma in South Africa presents itself in various forms depending on the community, culture and other variables. Stigma may inhibit people from seeking medical help and getting screened for cancer, even when they have symptoms that are associated with cancer. During diagnosis, stigma affects the way a patient might be treated and their ability to feel comfortable navigating the medical system. After diagnosis, stigma may reduce the likelihood of people taking or complying with treatment and their ability to tell others and seek the emotional and psychological support needed.
Below is a video from an event sponsored by LIVESTRONG and JSI in Soweto that brought together health care workers, survivors and community members to talk about cancer, reduce stigma and share stories.