Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Early breast cancer diagnosis saves women’s lives in UAE

Women are being diagnosed with breast cancer at an earlier stage now compared to five years ago, the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi has announced.

ABU DHABI // Women have a better chance of surviving breast cancer because the condition is being diagnosed earlier.

Last year only 16 per cent of cases in Abu Dhabi were diagnosed at a late stage compared with 64 per cent in 2007.

“We are really thrilled. It is a great achievement and we are working on maintaining this rate,” said Jalaa Taher, manager of non-communicable diseases at the Health Authority Abu Dhabi.

“Early detection equals saved lives. If you detect it early and get treatment early it means you can survive the diagnosis of breast cancer.”

Breast cancer has four stages of severity defined by the prevalence and size of the lymph nodes and tumours. If caught at stage one, the chance of survival is between 95 and 100 per cent.

Breast-cancer deaths among Emiratis have also fallen by 55 per cent over the past five years, said Dr Taher.

Despite the achievements, it remains the most common form of cancer in Abu Dhabi, accounting for 22 per cent of all new cancer cases last year and 41 per cent of cancer cases among women.

Worldwide, one women every 24 seconds is found to have breast cancer and one woman dies from the condition every 68 seconds.

“These are alarming figures,” Dr Taher said. “It’s a global issue and also a local issue.”

Breast cancer is the second-biggest killer of women after cardiovascular disease. Last year there were 54 deaths in Abu Dhabi, the youngest only 24. Half the women found to have breast cancer were between 49 and 54.

The authority’s annual breast-cancer campaign is part of the six-month Cancer Wave health initiative launched last week targeting the four most common cancers – breast, colorectal, lung and cervical.

The first phase is focusing on breast cancer to tie in with worldwide Breast Cancer Awareness Month every October. It aims to highlight the importance of regular screening and self-examinations.

From the age of 20, women should carry out monthly self-examinations and visit a GP every three years. After the age of 40, they should have a mammogram every two years.

“The main message is to do regular screening because regular screening saves lives,” said Dr Taher. The authority aims to have 20,0000 women screened for breast cancer every year.

“We encourage women who discover any symptoms not to take it easily. Do not consult friends, go straight to your physician.”

Signs and symptoms of breast cancer include lumps, unusual swelling and a change in the size and shape of the breast.

“Women play vital roles in society,” said Dr Taher. “They are mothers, educators, workers, leaders and motivators. They thus deserve our best efforts to ensure their good health and safety. 

“Through our campaign we aim to educate the public on important facts and figures as well as the causes, detection and treatment of breast cancer and encourage them to adapt habits that benefit not only those afflicted with the condition but their families and caregivers as well.”

The campaign will advise on preventive lifestyle measures women can take to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

“We know there are some risk factors: late menopause, taking hormones, such as birth control, for a long time, alcohol and smoking,” said Dr Taher. “Reducing these risk factors lowers the chance of breast cancer.”

To book screenings and mammograms, the authority has created a special booking tool on its cancer awareness website that provides a database of healthcare facilities in the emirate with screening options. Alternatively, call 800 555 for more information.

Activities during the breast cancer campaign include a Walkathon at Zayed Sports City on October 25, a Pink Polo match on November 8 and a charity fashion show at Marina Mall on November 18.

jbell@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Shah Rukh Khan performs at the IPL Gala dinner to open IPL VII at the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi.

In pictures: Shah Rukh Khan stars at IPL Gala dinner in Abu Dhabi

The superstar entertainer Shah Rukh Khan on stage last night at a gala dinner to launch the Indian Premier League cricket tournament.

No words can describe this April 17, your captions will

Have a catchy caption for this picture. Share it with us and we might publish it and reward you.

 When this 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta stamp goes under the hammer at Sotheby’s in New York on June 17, it is expected to attract a world record bid for a single stamp of up to $20 million (Dh73.4m). Courtesy Sotheby’s

Rare 1856 stamp up for auction at Sotheby’s

This is one of the world’s rarest stamps and when it goes up for auction in June it should fetch $20million. Its history since it was issued in 1856 is fascinating – and includes one murderous chapter, as Jonathan Gornall reports

 Residential buildings near the Al Qasba area in Sharjah. Pawan Singh / The National

Sharjah rents rise as Dubai property crunch drive residents north

Apartment rents jumped 7 per cent from the previous quarter, taking the annual increase to 38 per cent according to a report from Asteco.

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 Barcelona’s Lionel Messi plays with a rugby ball during a training session at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training camp, near Barcelona in Sant Joan Despi, April 15, 2014. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino

In pictures: Barca play a little rugby before Copa del rey final

Barcelona and Real Madrid will play in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday night but the day before the match, Braca players played a little rugby during a training session at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training camp, in Sant Joan Despi, Spain. Barca meet Real Madrid on Wednesday at 11.30pm (UAE time) and the match will be on BeIn Sports.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National