Breast Cancer is increasingly become a major cause for concern in developing nations and particularly in the UAE. According to the statistics from Dubai Health Authority (DHA) hospitals, the number of breast cancer cases in women has increased by 20 per cent since 2009. The rise is also attributed to the increased awareness over the past few years.
October is a month designated to the cause of breast cancer awareness. With the prevalence of the disease and consequent death increasing in the country, Health Authorities have insisted on the need for more initiatives and campaigns to make the general public aware of the disease and promote the importance of mammogram screenings and self-breast examinations.
Dr. Moza Al Hattawi, breast surgeon and chairperson of the DHA Breast Cancer Campaign said, “With this awareness, more cases are being diagnosed. Unfortunately, these are still detected at late stages. Almost 30 per cent of breast cancer patients, especially over 40, visit DHA hospitals in the third stage.”
Dr. Hattawi further stressed the importance of early awareness, stating, “The treatment outcome depends on the stage at which the cancer is detected. Early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer saves lives.”
Several establishments are running initiatives to spread awareness during the month. A few of these include:
- A month long awareness drive to combat the disease at Al Ain Tawan Hospital
- ‘Safe & Sound Pink Walkathon’ at Bur Juman Centre which takes place every year as part of their CSR activities. http://www.burjuman.com/whatson/sept-13-change-in-date-safe-sound-2012-pink-walkathon-now-on-november-2/
- The ‘Pink Caravan’ initiative by the Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) and Sharjah Islamic Bank which is aimed at increasing awareness while improving accessibility and availability of technology across the Emirates. http://www.pinkcaravan.ae/pc-reveals-details-of-its-pan-uae-journey
- Breast Cancer Arabia’s ‘Dubai Goes Pink,’ is a month long event starting 4th October 2012 which focuses on raising funds, trying new activities and building awareness for the fight against breast cancer. http://www.breastcancerarabia.com/fe/18010-bca-foundation
- Breast cancer is the second highest cause of death among UAE women, accounting for 28 per cent of total deaths
- Most breast cancer cases occur in women age 40. However, certain women with high-risk characteristics may develop breast cancer at a younger age
- Breast cancer cases in women below and over 40 in hospitals run by DHA increased by 20 per cent since 2009
- A mammogram screening using the mobile mammography unit takes less than 30 minutes, and detects breast cancer at its earliest stage — when it is most curable