Screening fears make breast cancer detection difficult

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fears, breast cancer, detection, difficult

Abu Dhabi - The two-day conference brought together some of the best experts in clinical radiology from the region and across the world.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Sat 22 Feb 2020, 10:33 PM

Last updated: Sun 23 Feb 2020, 1:49 PM

Many women still fear screenings and mammograms, making breast cancer detection a problem, said a radiological expert.
Dr Rola Shaheen, medical director and chief of radiology at Peterborough Regional Health Centre in Canada, who previously worked for an Abu Dhabi government hospital for three years, believes that breast cancer is still an issue in the UAE not because there are no equipment or medical experts, but the lack of awareness among women about the need for screening.
"If they are diagnosed with breast cancer, treatment can start early," Dr Shaheen told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the ninth Seha International Radiology Conference in Abu Dhabi.
The two-day conference brought together some of the best experts in clinical radiology from the region and across the world to encourage exchange of knowledge, experience and best practices.
"The issue is women are scared - they fear the outcome and wait until the tumour turns big, meaning it's in advanced stage, making it hard to cure," said Dr Shaheen.
"It'd be better if women, young and old, would go for screening as the UAE has been fighting the illness through early detection campaigns," she added. 
Breast cancer topped the total 4,707 new cancer cases found in the UAE in 2018 - with 1,054 cases (22.4 percent), according to the World Health Organisation's (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
New medical imaging equipment and diagnostic approaches include tomosynthesis or 3D screening - an advanced technology that takes multiple images (X-rays) of breast tissue to recreate a three-dimensional picture of the breast, noted Dr Shaheen.
"Unlike traditional mammograms, these multiple images of breast tissue slices from 3D screenings give doctors a clearer image of breast masses. It makes it easier to detect breast cancer," she said, adding that the contrast-enhance mammograms is another latest diagnostic approach that helps assess the extent of the disease.
According to the doctor, ultrasound (US)-guided breast biopsy has become the main method for diagnosing breast pathology, and has a high diagnostic accuracy. 
She said it is essential for doctors to determine imaging-pathology concordance after US-guided biopsy for validating the biopsy result.
She advised that ra diology, pathology and colouration after biopsy are key to the appropriate management of the breast region.
Dr Rizwan Syed, chair of department clinical imaging-intervention-angio at Tawam Hospital in Al Ain, said advances in medical imaging have continued to occur quite rapidly, making the clinical practice of radiology extremely demanding. 
He noted that with access to technologies such as artificial intelligence, 3D printing and robotics in medicine, radiology has transformed from being an independent department in a healthcare setting to a key foundation of modern medicine.

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