x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Sharjah's new breast cancer centre sees men and women in first week

Doctors say it is important to know that not only women are at risk of getting breast cancer after seeing 70 patients - including two men - in its first week of operation.

SHARJAH // Two men and 68 women were seen by doctors during a breast cancer centre's first week of operation.

The centre at Sharjah University Hospital was launched in co-operation with the Institut Gustave Roussy, a leading cancer research facility in France, on May 12.

Dr Toufik Tabbara, an associate professor of surgery at the university and the centre's director, said most of the patients who were tested were women over 40 years old.

"We received some cases of men coming in to test and this is very important for everyone to know that not only women are at risk of getting breast cancer," he said.

"Breast cancer is deadly, but an early diagnosis can give people a chance to live."

Dr Tabbara added cases of men developing breast cancer are rare. However, the risk increases with age, with the majority of cases found among men aged 60 to 70.

The centre offers patients a rapid diagnosis of a breast lesion, the development of a treatment pathway, breast-cancer surgery, including oncoplastic (reconstructive and plastic surgery) and chemotherapy treatment.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Saqr Al Qassimi, the ministry of health undersecretary and director of Sharjah Medical Zone, said the ministry was working to increase its medical services throughout the emirate.

This includes offering pre-marital tests for couples at the Al Madam health centre to serve the Al Dhaid and Maleha areas, while mental health services will be available at Al Riffa, Al Khalidiya and Wasit health centres, in addition to existing services in Al Hamriya and Al Sabkha.

The ministry is also expanding its services for pregnant women to 12 more centres, bringing the total to 15.

ykakande@thenational.ae