Sidra Medical and Research Center (Sidra) and Qatar Cancer Society (QCS) have come together to raise awareness about the importance of breast cancer screening in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October).
Teams from both organisations will host a series of information sessions and workshops on October 15 at the College of Art and Science in Qatar University.
Health professionals from Sidra and QCS will be present to help answer questions about causes and identification of breast cancer; showcase self-examination techniques using models and mannequins; and highlight screening facilities and treatment options available in the country. A female clinician will be available to answer questions with the support of Sidra’s Qatari healthcare promoters, who will play a key role in spreading awareness and answering questions on screening and treatment options.
Early detection via breast cancer screening has been found to be successful in decreasing mortality rates. However, despite the screening options available in Qatar, the percentage of women in the country getting screened for breast cancer is still very low. Sidra and QCS have encouraged students from Qatar University to attend the workshop and learn to conduct self-examinations, looking for key signs of breast cancer. The joint session is a follow up of an internal workshop that Sidra and QCS organised recently for staff.
According to a 2011 study exploring breast cancer screening practices among Arab women in Qatar, the country has the third highest rate of breast cancer occurrence in the Gulf region. It was cited as the most common cancer in Qatar with an increasing incidence rate. A key finding highlighted that only 7.6 percent of women surveyed had basic knowledge of breast cancer screening. The study also found that 60 percent of women suffering from advanced stage of breast cancer never either conducted a self-exam or took a clinical examination or mammogram. The study was conducted by the University of Calgary-Qatar in partnership with Al Amal Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation and the Supreme Council of Health.
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