IN SHORT: Social media messages claim that readers can get free medical treatment for breast cancer in 2024, through a Kenyan-based charitable trust. But the Africa Cancer Foundation has denied the claim.
“Please If you know of any lady battling BREAST CANCER of whatever stage please advise her to contact [email protected] before 7th march, all medical expenses are free,” the claim reads.
The email address likely belongs to managing trustee Dorothy Nyong’o at the Africa Cancer Foundation (ACF), a charitable trust in Kenya that creates awareness on the prevention, management and treatment of cancer in Africa.
The message also suggests that readers forward it to groups to “save a woman’s life”.
But is this foundation offering free breast cancer treatment to women in 2024? We checked.
False hope can be devastating – always verify information before sharing
Breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the breast grow out of control, causing tumours to form, according to the World Health Organization.
If breast cancer is left untreated, the tumours can spread through the body and become fatal.
Some of the symptoms of breast cancer include a breast lump or thickening, often without pain; change in size, shape or appearance of the breast; and dimpling, redness, pitting or other changes in the skin.
Seeking treatment for breast cancer in its early stages is important, but many African women only get diagnosed in the late stages of the disease.
‘The message being circulated is out-of-date and no longer relevant’
In early 2022 Nyong’o did send a WhatsApp, on behalf of the ACF, inviting 200 breast cancer patients to sign up for free surgeries. The original WhatsApp message read:
Once again this year we are doing 200 free breast cancer operations. If you know anyone who requires breast surgery it’s absolutely free of charge including hospital stay. Please forward the name of the patient before March 7 to Dorothy Nyong’o.
But the ACF’s statement makes clear that the message as it has resurfaced on social media is out of date and false:
Unfortunately, there are no free surgeries being offered this year as the funding is not there. The message being circulated is out-of-date and no longer relevant.
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