The Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has introduced two new services to improve breast cancer care in the country.
The ‘One Stop Clinic’ and ‘Survivorship Clinic’ were recently opened at HMC’s National Centre for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR).
“Women suspected to have breast cancer will get rapid access to the NCCCR from health centres. Any suspected case of cancer will be referred to NCCCR by physicians from public and private healthcare facilities. They will be seen within 48 hours and undergo assessment, imaging and a biopsy test on the same day at the ‘One Stop Clinic,” said Dr. Salha Bujassoum Al Bader, Senior Consultant Medical Oncologist at NCCCR while speaking to media persons, recently. Breast cancer, the most common cancer in Qatar, accounting for 40% of cancer cases in women.
At least 300 new cases have been diagnosed in 2017. The average age for women with breast cancer is 47 years. The optimal care of patients with breast cancer is rapidly changing as a result of advances in all aspects of patient care. There is an increasing focus on providing multidisciplinary care for patients with relevant treatment modalities including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and systemic medical interventions.
“The breast cancer survival rate in Qatar has touched a remarkable level of 84% as a result of high standards of diagnosis and treatment methods. The survival rate is also considered higher than other countries. The survival rate from breast cancer reaches 99% if the disease is caught at an early stage,” said Dr. Salha “Women with breast cancer get discharged from active treatment methods in three years from diagnosis at the NCCCR. But they remain under continuous monitoring at the newly opened ‘Survivorship Clinic’. The team at the clinic will look if patients develop any side effects due to the treatment they underwent.”
Most breast cancers are not related to genetics, however, about five to ten percent is due to the inherited mutation in the breast or ovarian cancer genes. Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, which is an inherited genetic condition through which a potential cancer risk is passed down from generation to another in a family. “There are two types of screening for breast cancer. First is the standardised screening for women without any symptoms and above the age of 45. The second category is the high-risk group and it is extremely important for women who have a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer. This group is to be assessed by a medical professional,” said Dr. Salha.
“The High-Risk Clinic at the NCCCR, is dedicated to evaluating and managing the risk of cancer for both individuals and their families. The clinic incorporates a multidisciplinary approach with the presence of different sub-specialists. Women with any of history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer risk factors can receive medical assessment and investigation at the clinic,” said Dr. Salha.
The clinic also offers genetic counselling to high-risk patients to assess the possibility of the disease. On October 25, NCCCR will organise a ‘Pink Walk’ at Aspire Park at 3.30pm to coincide with the Breast Cancer Awareness Month as well as raising awareness.(Source)
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