Preventing breast cancer and treating the disease more effectively will require continuous research, collaboration and innovation, a leading surgical oncologist has said.
Dr Stephen R. Grobmyer, director of Cleveland Clinic’s Breast Center in the United States, during a recent visit to the UAE, conducted a series of lectures at Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) campuses in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.
He also addressed hundreds of students and faculty members studying and working in different medical-related fields at the University of Sharjah Medical School.
Dr Grobmyer’s made presentations on the role of innovation in the future of global breast health. He highlighted the challenges that the society is facing with the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer; how society needs to collaborate and create novel solutions to reduce the burden of breast cancer; and improve clinical outcomes. “We all have to innovate and embrace innovation if we are to change the future,” he said.
Dr Grobmyer gave some startling facts about the disease which is the most common cause of cancer among women worldwide. He pointed out that 14 percent of all cancer diagnoses in the USA are breast cancer-related and a 50 percent increase of breast cancer worldwide by 2030 is predicted.
Generally the hindrances to treating breast cancers successfully are a lack of awareness, changing lifestyles and limited resources.
“Early detection is essential,” he said, “While women over 60 years of age are the most at-risk population, here (Middle East) and in Asia it is appearing in much younger women.”
He said the solutions could be found by proactive steps. “... Research, collaborate, innovate ... We need to innovate in prevention, implementation and early detection.”
He spoke of a range of innovations being implemented by Cleveland Clinic in the detection and treatment of breast cancer, including ‘My Family’, an online resource which helps with the early diagnosis of breast cancer by obtaining a patient’s medical and family history. He also spoke of intra-operative radiation therapy for early-stage breast cancer patients, nano-medicine, metagenomics and investigations into a breast cancer vaccine as innovative practices.
Dr Tayeb Kamali, Vice-Chancellor of the HCT, thanked Cleveland Clinic for their support in raising awareness.