Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 May 2019

Car crash saved my life: Sharjah cancer survivor urges women to make regular check-ups

Mother-of-two calls for women to go for regular check-ups after minor car crash led to her cancer being detected

Breast cancer survivor Madiha is calling on women to take advantage of free screenings provided by the Pink Charity organisation this year.
Breast cancer survivor Madiha is calling on women to take advantage of free screenings provided by the Pink Charity organisation this year.

A breast cancer survivor has sent out a vital message over the importance of regular check-ups - after being put on the road to recovery by a "lucky" car accident.

Mother-of-two Madiha, from Sharjah, only received her potentially life-saving diagnosis when at hospital for treatment for injuries suffered in a minor car accident last March.

It was a shunt that changed the course of her life.

“I suffered from a minor chest injury in a road accident and I had a bandage on my breast for three days,” she said.

When her bandage was being taken off, she said she felt a lump in her breast.

With alarms bells ringing, help was at hand from Pink Caravan, an initiative set up by the Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) to raise awareness about the importance of early detection in beating breast cancer.

“It happened that the Pink Caravan Ride - an annual breast cancer awareness campaign - was launched that month so I was referred to one of their clinics,” said Madiha, whose full name was not disclosed.

Madiha is grateful for the financial and emotional support she was given by the organisation.

Madiha was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and burst into tears when she received the news.

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All she could think of at that moment, was her two sons.

“Their father passed away in 2009 and I wanted to be by their side for as long as possible, I thought about them when I was told I had cancer, and I burst into tears.”

Madiha was then referred to the University Hospital in Sharjah (UHS), where she underwent a surgery in April and received therapy sessions for the following two months.

A Pink Caravan Ride is held each year to help raise awareness of the fight against the deadly disease and efforts to improve early detection rates. Courtesy Pink Caravan
A Pink Caravan Ride is held each year to help raise awareness of the fight against the deadly disease and efforts to improve early detection rates. Courtesy Pink Caravan

“I am indebted to Pink Caravan for not only covering the costs of my treatment but for also giving me unlimited emotional support, which strengthened my response to treatment,” she said.

She has issued a rallying call to members of the public to ensure they have regular check-ups.

“I have come to know during my successful battle against cancer that it’s medically proven how breast cancer, if detected early, has a 98 per cent chance of full recovery,” she said.

The annual Pink Caravan awareness campaign travels to all seven Emirates, with the aim of offering 9,000 free health screenings to people in the UAE.

The ninth edition of the vital campaign will be rolling into action from February 23 until March 1.

Free examinations are offered at more than 30 mobile and fixed medical clinics.

Previous screening for more than 56,000 people have led to the diagnosis and treatment of 161 breast cancer cases.

Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, head of the medical and awareness committee of Pink Caravan said that people should be attentive to the many symptoms of breast cancer, which need immediate medical consultation.

Leading a healthy and active lifestyle, eating more fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, and the proper use of hormone replacement therapy medications are important factors in reducing the risk of developing breast cancer, she said.

Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in women worldwide, with nearly 1.1 million new cases diagnosed each year.

“Since 2011, the Pink Caravan has been concentrating all its efforts to raise awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early detection through regular self-checks and medical screenings,” said Dr. Sawsan.

Updated: January 20, 2019 02:47 PM

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