Early breast cancer detection boosts survival by 95%

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on October 22, 2020


Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has launched its annual breast cancer awareness campaign.

Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women in Gulf countries. According to an international study, the rate of breast cancer among women in the UAE is 39.9 per cent of all cancers, while in both genders, it is 22.4 per cent.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has launched its annual breast cancer awareness campaign to raise the importance of early detection. It will highlight the factors associated with the increased risk of breast cancer, educate women on how to conduct a self exam, and reiterate the importance of breastfeeding in prevention.

"Early screening has proven to increase chances of survival by 95 per cent," said Dr Hussein Abdel Rahman Al Rand, Undersecretary of the Ministry's Health Assistant Sector, Health Centres and Clinics.

The campaign includes several virtual awareness activities. These include educational posts on MoHAP's social media accounts and educational videos.

Look out for symptoms

Dr Cherian Thampy, specialist medical oncologist, NMC Speciality Hospital, Abu Dhabi, said: "The doctors are unanimous in identifying the signs of breast cancer as a lump in the breast or underarm; swelling or thickening of all or part of the breast; dimpling or skin irritation of breast skin; localised, persistent breast pain; redness, scaliness or thickening of the nipple or breast skin; nipple discharge (other than breast milk); and any change in the size or shape of the breast.

Can breast cancer be prevented?

According to Dr Mohanad Diab, HOD and Consultant Medical Oncologist, NMC Royal Hospital, Abu Dhabi, the best ways to prevent the disease are to be physically active; eating healthy; avoiding alcohol and smoking. "If you think you're at high risk, talk to your doctor to see if certain medications may be right for you."

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