The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and its stakeholders will continue to promote and raise awareness of breast cancer through different campaigns throughout the month of October.
The theme is ‘Together against breast cancer,’ and aims to educate women about the risk of breast cancer, increasing their knowledge of the signs and symptoms and empowering them to take charge of their own breast health.
Throughout the month of October there will be a number of activities across Qatar in malls, hospitals, and schools including lectures, community events, workshops and conferences. Educational materials including leaflets, roll ups and posters, raising public awareness of how to be breast aware and what the breast cancer signs and symptoms are, will be provided.
A social media campaign will also run throughout the month to share information with the public about breast cancer, providing health tips and offering support to cancer patients and their families and cancer survivors.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in Qatar. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every 19 seconds someone in the world is diagnosed with breast cancer.
Statistics from the Qatar National Cancer Registry (QNCR) 2015 report, of the MoPH shows a total of 248 cases diagnosed with malignant breast cancer; six of which were male and 242 were female. The three-year survival rate from malignant breast cancer during the period 2013-2015 was relatively high at 82.3%. Female breast cancer ranked first amongst all new cases of female malignant cancers at 39.41%.
Dr. Mohamed H. Al Thani, Director of Public Health, MOPH said, “There is no certain way to prevent breast cancer however one can lower the risks. This can be especially helpful for women with certain risk factors for breast cancer, such as having a strong family history or certain gene change; there are some things you can do to help lower your chances of developing breast cancer.”
Certain breast cancer risk factors are related to personal behaviors, including diet and exercise. Other lifestyle-related risk factors include decisions about having children late and taking medication that contains hormones. By making meaningful lifestyle changes, the odds for preventing cancer can be increased. These healthy lifestyle measures include regular exercise, controlling weight, eating a healthy diet and no smoking.
“In line with its mission to provide the safest, most effective and compassionate care to everyone in Qatar, HMC as one of the largest healthcare organizations in Qatar and the region is keen to empower women and provide people with the knowledge they need about breast awareness, reducing their risk of cancer and how early detection can save lives.
“Our aim is to minimize the impact of breast cancer in Qatar, said Catherine Gillespie, Executive Director of Nursing at the National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR).
“Dr Shaikha Abu Shaikha, Cancer Program Manager, Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) said, “The main part of our contribution to this joint campaign is the ‘Screen for Life’ program which was launched in January 2016.
“Providing complimentary breast and bowel cancer screening services to eligible people, we are launching our annual breast cancer awareness campaign throughout October under the theme ‘Your Life is Precious, Get Screened’. We urge eligible women to take a proactive approach to their breast health and book a screening appointment by calling the program call center at 8001112.”
Mariam Al Noaimi, General Manager of Qatar Cancer Society (QCS) said, “The ‘life is pink’ breast cancer awareness campaign continues in October and emphasizes the importance of early detection and spreading the culture of healthy life style in prevention and highlights the health services available in Qatar; activates QCS’ role in providing social and financial support to cancer patients and enriches the experiences of individuals living with cancer.”
This joint awareness initiative acknowledges the impact of breast cancer on the community and how Qatar’s healthcare professionals and leaders are committed to continually raising awareness and improving services to best contribute to the Qatar Vision 2030 of a cancer free community.
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