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MOPH & partners enforces the efforts of generating awareness about Breast Cancer

Publication Date:
12 November 2018 
Primary News

Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) is working closely with healthcare providers and their partners throughout October, to reduce the incidence of breast cancer and further increase survival rates by raising awareness of breast cancer through a nationwide “Together Against Breast Cancer” campaign. The campaign raised awareness of breast cancer by educating people about the importance of prevention and early detection to decrease the burden of mortality from this deadly disease.

According to statistics released by the Qatar National Cancer Registry from the Ministry of Public Health, a total of 248 cases of malignant breast cancer were diagnosed in Qatar in 2015.The majority of these cases were female with a total of 242 women diagnosed with the disease. 

Breast cancer is the main cause of female malignant cancer in Qatar representing 39.41% of all diagnosed cancers. The rate of breast cancer among men is relatively low with only six cases diagnosed in the same year.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths, and, excluding skin cancer, it is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women, with 1 in 8 women being diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. 

Despite its high incidence rate, the three-year survival rate from malignant breast cancer in Qatar from 2013-2015 was relatively high at 82.3%. Much of this success is due to the cutting edge cancer services provided to cancer patients in Qatar.

Commenting on the campaign, Catherine Gillespie, National Cancer Program Director at the Ministry of Public Health said:  Healthcare providers working in cancer care across the country have been working together for some time to raise awareness of breast cancer and provide clear and consistent messages about reducing the avoidable risks and the importance of early detection.  This is of key importance for breast cancer as we know that treating it at an early stage significantly improves outcomes for those diagnosed with the disease.”

Dr. Shaikha Abu Shaikha, Cancer Program Manager at Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) added: “The ‘Screen For Life’ team works tirelessly throughout the year to raise awareness of the importance of early detection of breast cancer through screening. Year upon year, the program is becoming more widespread across the community, with an increasing number of lectures and other activities taking place bring about an increasing level of engagement. This is the result of the discipline, dedication and perseverance of our team with support from both the government and private sectors who have helped greatly.  We appreciate the commitment of everyone who has joined ‘Screen For Life’ throughout this initiative and look forward to working with them further as we continue on our mission.” 

Mr. Michel Harkous, Director of Nursing Education at the National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR) added: “Qatar’s healthcare providers and their partners have made significant efforts to make cancer support services the success they are today. No matter how hard we try, we cannot combat cancer alone. Only through collaboration can we fight this disease.” 

Mr. Harkous continued: “The “Together against Breast Cancer” campaign was a success with women learning about the importance of checking their breasts regularly. We were excited to work with our healthcare partners to make women aware of their breasts, providing them with important information about the screening programs available in Qatar, and building their confidence in discussing anything unusual with their doctors as soon as possible. We need more of these awareness initiatives to provide consistent messages to reduce the risk of breast cancer, help save lives and ultimately meet Qatar’s vision 2030 of a cancer free population.”

Mariam Al Noaimi, General Manager of Qatar Cancer Society (QCS), also commented on the importance of breast cancer awareness and prevention. She said: The QCS ‘Life is Pink’ campaign emphasized the importance of periodic examinations for the early detection of breast cancer and the measures that can be taken to prevent it.”  

She added: The campaign also highlighted the role of the health services available in the State of Qatar particularly the support provided to cancer patients. It also emphasized the importance of forming healthcare and community partnerships to help prevent cancer and control its burden in Qatar. We will continue to work with our partners to educate the community, and support, empower and advocate for individuals living with cancer.” 

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