UAE: World record for cancer awareness created at Expo 2020

This record was broken by 54 members of both the Emirates Oncology Society and MSD.

By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Fri 4 Feb 2022, 9:50 PM

Last updated: Sat 5 Feb 2022, 7:56 PM

A group of 54 volunteers and participants made 2,828 cancer awareness ribbons in one hour to create a world record at the US Pavilion, at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Participants who broke the record included 54 members from both the Emirates Oncology Society and MSD.

Activities had been launched to commemorate World Cancer Day on February 4, and part of the activities was breaking the World Guinness Record for the highest number of awareness ribbons tied in one hour at a single location with a total of 2,828 ribbons, whereas the previous record set was 1,589.

Emirates Oncology Society had entered the Guinness Book of World Records earlier for the largest cancer awareness ribbon at Expo 2020 in November 2021.

Professor Humaid Al Shamsi, President of Emirates Oncology Society, said: “We broke the record, but our motive behind such creative records is to make people read about cancer and understand the disease.

“The moment we read about a record, we are keen on reading more about it,” he added.

Al Shamsi said: “We have a global agenda of creating and raising cancer awareness, and what better place than Expo 2020,”

Speaking at the event Dr Rana Hajjeh - Director of Programme Management -WHO (World Health Organisation), Egypt, hinted at hinted that new cancer mRNA vaccines were being studied and developed: “The future is very bright for cancer patients due to new advancement in treatment of the disease,” she said.

Al Shamsi revealed that they will soon be publishing a book on cancer. “The first book on cancer in the Arab World will be launched next week. It will be free of cost for everyone. It took a lot of research and took over 5 years to complete.”

Al Shamsi also urged the residents, especially those above 40, to get checked regularly. “Anyone over 40-years-old should get checked for colon cancer and breast once a year. Similarly, for people over age of 50, should get checked for prostate cancer,” he suggested. Smokers, he said, must get checked for lung disorders or cancer.

“Females over 25-year who are sexually active must get checked for cervical cancer, and youngsters can also get checked for colon cancer - which is alarmingly increasing due to unhealthy diet, consumption of fatty and junk food, and less exercise,” he said.

The panellists at the event included Professor Humaid Al Shamsi, president Emirates Oncology Society, professor Solange Peters, president of European Society for Medical Oncology, Switzerland; professor Robert Wolff, professor of Medicine in the Department of GI Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA; Dr Rana Hajjeh - Director of Programme Management -WHO (World Health Organisation), Egypt; Ashraf Malak - AVP, Managing Director - MSD GCC; Mary Rose Khamasmieh, Cancer survivor.

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