Find out about breast cancer online

Plastic Surgery Cape Town

Dr Anees Chagpar from Yale University has put together an incredibly informative course: Introduction to breast cancer. It is meant for anyone who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and for family or friends and carers..

Find out more about the course.

Video of Dr Chagpar introducing the introduction to breast cancer course.


The chance that you have a friend or family member with breast cancer, or have been personal history, is pretty high. Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in South Africa.

Educating yourself about breast cancer makes it less of an unknown entity. Learning about the causes, risks, and treatments makes the disease more understandable and easier to face, as a patient or a friend or family member.

I believe that for most patients, understanding what the disease is about is an incredibly empowering weapon.


The course is available from cousera. The information is up to date, simply presented and there is not too much medical mumbo-jumbo. When medical terms were used, they were very nicely explained for clarity.

Although it is based on the US medical system the facts about breast cancer are universal. Breast cancer management available in SA health system is similar. The breast oncology surgery, reconstructive surgery, screening and genomics are all part and parcel of breast cancer care. The major difference in availability of care is that we do not have the same access to clinical trials as in the US.

It is an online course of video lectures, so you can work through the material at your own pace. What is really great is that you can set the play-back of the lectures to suite your preferred listening speed. And its free.

Obviously there is no substitute for an honest and detailed discussion with your doctor. But being informed about your diagnosis helps you to play an active part in your treatment and recovery.


Introduction to breast cancer



Breast cancer incidence in South Africa. Vorobiof DA1, Sitas F, Vorobiof G. J Clin Oncol. 2001 Sep 15;19(18 Suppl):125S-127S.

SA Clinical Trials