Sharjah Health Authority (SHA) in collaboration with University Hospital Sharjah (UHS) held an awareness programme as part of its community healthcare initiative. The programme educated the employees of Sharjah Museum Department on how early detection of breast cancer saves lives, and ways to cope and battle the stigma attached to this deadly disease.
HE Abdullah Ali Al Mahyan, Chairman of SHA and Chairman of Board of Trustees at UHS, said, “Raising regular awareness is part of our objective to ensure residents of Sharjah are well informed and live long, prosperous lives. We at the hospital also developed a ‘Pink Corner’ that is dedicated to breast cancer education as well as a place for reflection and assessment. Early diagnosis of the disease will save the majority of the women.”
Dr Hind Sabah, Senior Specialist, Obstetrics and Gynecology at UHS, said, “Breast cancer is the most common cancer afflicting women today. One out of every eight women are at risk of developing this form of cancer. Every year, 1.1 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer and most of the women are in the age-range between 45 to 54 years old.”
According to health experts, about 30 per cent of cancer deaths are due to an unhealthy lifestyle, which lacks proper nutrition, insufficient consumption of fruits and vegetables, a high body mass index, tobacco use and a lack of physical activity.
Dr Sabah continued, “Unfortunately, most of the women who seek medical attention do so at a later stage. It is crucial to educate women how to self-examine regularly. At the moment, only eight per cent of all cancerous lumps are found by the women themselves. Every woman is at risk for breast cancer, no matter her age, family history, or current health. About 75 per cent of women diagnosed with the disease have none of the commonly known risk factors.”
Regular mammography screenings combined with clinical breast examinations and monthly self-examinations help to diagnose the disease in its early stages. Research has shown that routine mammography detects 40 per cent of cancers not found during a physical examination. This has helped reduce the breast cancer death rate by 30 per cent.
UHS will also mark International Day of Radiology on November 8th. This Day is dedicated to breast imaging and the essential role that radiology plays in the detection, diagnosis and management of breast diseases.