RAS AL KHAIMAH // The most colourful party in Ras Al Khaimah has raised tens of thousands of dirhams to fight breast cancer, one of the most common killers of women in the UAE. Partygoers dressed in their brightest pinks for the Tower Links Golf Club's second annual Pink Party. They raised Dh71,375 (US$19,500) for the BurJuman shopping centre's Safe and Sound campaign, a year-long initiative aimed at raising funds and awareness for the prevention, early detection and treatment of breast cancer.
The event honours Lucille Raynor, a teacher who died of breast cancer in 2006. "She liked a party and we thought this was a great way to remember her," said Tina Lambert, a colleague of Ms Raynor at the Ras al Khaimah English Speaking School who organised this year's event held last month. Fund-raisers included a raffle, an auction and a "Pink Idol" karaoke competition. The Al Hamra Golf Club also hosted a charity golf day a week later that raised more than Dh35,000.
Schools in the emirate have also been taking an active approach to breast cancer awareness. The Ras al Khaimah English Speaking School raised Dh4,626 at its non-uniform day last week and will continue to raise money through pink ribbon sales. "We are going to do a lot of health education programmes," said Dr Khalthoom Hassan, head of maternal and child health for RAK Medical District. "Breast cancer screening is an ongoing process. With early detection, the cure rate is 90 to 95 per cent."
Dr Hassan stressed the importance of breast cancer prevention through a healthy lifestyle. "Lower fat intake, increased dietary fibre and antioxidants, breast feeding and three to four hours of physical activity a week can significantly reduce risk," she said. "Twenty-five per cent of world breast cancer cases are due to overweight and sedentary lifestyle." Dr Hassan recommended mammograms every two years for women over 40, and annual mammograms and clinical breast examinations for women over 35 who have a family history of breast cancer.