UAE: New support group launched for breast cancer patients and survivors

11th edition of Pink Caravan Ride to start its annual ride across the emirates on February 4

Members of the Friends of Cancer Patients at a meeting.
Members of the Friends of Cancer Patients at a meeting.

Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Fri 27 Jan 2023, 9:08 PM

Last updated: Sat 28 Jan 2023, 3:40 PM

Cancer patients in the UAE are getting a supporting hand with the Pink Caravan’s new community.

Named Amal, the Arabic word for ‘hope’, the group was formed by the UAE-based non-profit organisation Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) while gearing up for the 11th edition of the Pink Caravan Ride (PCR).

The support group will serve as a welcoming space for breast cancer patients and survivors in the UAE, enabling them to engage in a close-knit community, where individuals share their personal experiences.

According to FoCP, cancer patients and survivors often face cognitive and emotional decline. They experience lack of attention, slow processing speed, memory dysfunctions, loneliness, anxiety and distress among other things. These deficits have a substantial impact on their well-being and quality of life.

The organisation believes that the support group will be a platform that will provide patients and survivors with the opportunity to get moral support from people who are actually going through the same situation, or people who have great knowledge and experience in providing emotional and psychological support.


This group aims to instil persistence and hope in breast cancer patients, while providing them with all types of assistance needed. Group members will be able to set and edit goals as a means of coping with their difficulties.

According to the FoCP, one of the aims of the group is to educate its patients. The support group will correct misconceptions and myths about breast cancer and cancer-related treatments that could cause confusion. It acts as a hub for fact-checking, demystifying incorrect messages, and explaining the truth.

Another aim is to provide psychological and spiritual support. Members can provide psychological support to each other while sharing accounts of similar experiences that allows them to connect and relate to each other. It will also help members to exchange their expertise on how to cope with potential side effects of the treatment — both physical and emotional — from their perspectives, allowing them to form new friends who fully understand and assist them.

Encourage and empower

‘Amal’ is a platform for members to arrange group-led activities including meetings, outdoor group walks, upcoming activities and events, or even workshops that further cement their relationships and social cohesion. It encourages them to volunteer in awareness campaigns about breast cancer and become a source of inspiration for other breast cancer patients and survivors.

One of the most important functions of the support group is to denounce the stigma of breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and survival. It significantly improves confidence and self-esteem. It will enable woman to openly express her opinions and emotions, and at the same time, stimulates her to lead, encourage and inspire other group members and the community.

The 11th edition of the Pink Caravan Ride (PCR), a breast cancer awareness initiative of the FoCP, will commence its annual ride across the emirates on February 4, coinciding with World Cancer Day, marking the internationally recognised day with a unique awareness programme on all types of cancer.

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