October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This annual campaign is devised to increase awareness of this, unfortunately widespread, illness and includes access to free, specialized imaging services for breast cancer detection screenings across the country. The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention has launched a free-of-charge early breast cancer screening campaign for all UAE women citizens and residents to spread awareness.
UAE is going pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Some may have seen the Pink Caravan (mobile clinic) ride through the UAE throughout the year already to give free specialized imaging services for the breast. In October, however, many clinics are also joining in; for example, Mediclinic’s doctors give free breast health clinical examination at any clinic or hospital in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain or Al Dhafra Region.
Also, this month Abu Dhabi sets two Guinness World Records in Support of Cancer Awareness: the longest awareness ribbon and the largest number of pairs attaching awareness ribbons to each other simultaneously, reports Gulf News.
As Breast Cancer Month gets underway, women are also reminded about the importance of self-examination and of periodic health check-ups by a physician to address any concerns early. Breast Cancer Screening and Early Detection, a clinical breast exam (CBE), or a mammogram are the best screening tools today. “It is recommended that all women have a screening mammogram every two years starting at age 40 (and perhaps earlier if you have a family history of breast cancer),” as noted on the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi website (haad.ae).
Dr Shaheenah Dawood, president of UAE Cancer Congress and consultant medical oncologist, says, “Anyone with a breast lump or any woman who feels something is not right in their breast should immediately go and get themselves checked out.” The earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the survival probabilities. Therefore, it’s advised women seek help immediately once a lump is noticed, as in very early stages, treatment may not involve chemotherapy. It is important to note, also that breast cancer cases are found among men too.
What other initiatives are carried forward in the UAE? The War on Cancer Middle East conference was held in Dubai earlier this year also focused on the main challenges and risks for breast cancer. The Ministry of Health and Prevention holds breast cancer screening program regularly.
Breast cancer deaths rates have declined in recent times with more people undergoing preventive screening and being diagnosed annually. This is encouraging. However, because this is the leading cause of cancer death in women, it is important to continue spreading awareness and supporting ad-hoc initiatives and research.
To know more of the fight against breast cancer …
Read the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi tips on screening for
Read the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi standards for
As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there’s no better time than right now to join the fight against breast cancer.