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Healthpoint Medical Staff Support Pink Caravan Breast Cancer Outreach Campaign

Hospital clinical staff will host free breast cancer screening sessions in Abu Dhabi as part of the annual public health initiative, which stresses the importance of early detection

Healthpoint, part of Mubadala’s network of integrated healthcare facilities, will provide free breast cancer screening in Abu Dhabi in partnership with public health campaign Pink Caravan.

The annual event, which will run for 10 days and started Thursday, 21 February, sees medical professionals traverse the country on horseback to offer mammograms, ultrasounds and physical examinations. “Detecting breast cancer early can make the difference between life and death,” said Dr Mai Ahmed Al Jaber, Medical Director and Public Health Medicine Specialist at Healthpoint.

“Eight out of 10 breast lumps are benign, and up to 98% of breast cancer cases are curable if detected early enough, yet cultural taboos, fear and complacency means many people miss out on check-ups. When those people are physically remote or disengaged from health services, the risks are compounded. We are really proud to partner with Pink Caravan for the fourth year in a row. This campaign is a positive step toward making a healthier nation and we strongly encourage people to take advantage of such initiatives and undergo regular screening to beat the disease.”

Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer among women, according to World Health Organization figures. It affects 2.1 million women each year and causes the greatest number of cancer-related female deaths. In order to improve breast cancer outcomes and survival, early detection through early diagnosis and screening is critical.

Pink Caravan was launched in 2011 by the nonprofit society Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP). It recruits volunteers with medical expertise to dispel myths surrounding the disease, provide screening and educate communities about the importance of breast self-examination, prompt detection and treatment. Pink Caravan’s efforts are concentrated in communities characterized by late presentation of breast cancer and lower than average screening rates.

Healthpoint will be the campaign’s official medical partner in Abu Dhabi, for the fourth year in a row. Its medical staff will form part of a team of volunteers screening both women and men; many people are unaware that one in 100 breast cancer patients is male.

Screening is performed inside a pink-painted mobile mammography unit which accompanies the riders on their journey. Female Healthpoint staff who have been specially trained for Pink Caravan will take part in the initiative.

Healthpoint will also supply vouchers for free mammography and ultrasonography at the hospital’s state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging and radiology facility to patients who are referred for further investigation. Breast cancer screening is one of the screening programs offered by the experts at the hospital.

The temporary clinics will be based at Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi, from Thursday, 21 February to Saturday, 2 March.

Pink Caravan runs from Thursday, 21 February to Saturday, 2 March. To learn more, visit www.pinkcaravan.ae.

How to protect yourself from breast cancer:

  • Examine your breasts every month. Any change, such as a dimple, sore, discoloration or nipple discharge, should be checked by a doctor.
  • From the age of 40, women should have a mammogram every two years. If a parent or sibling has had breast, ovarian or prostate cancer, these checks should be made more often and start at an earlier age;
  • The risk of developing breast cancer can be reduced by leading a healthy lifestyle. This includes taking regular exercise, avoid smoking and alcohol; and keeping your weight within the healthy range for your height and build. It is also vital to eat a balanced diet, one that includes fresh fruit, vegetables and fibre.

Since it was launched in 2011, Pink Caravan has:

  • performed 56,806 clinical examinations;
  • provided 16,504 mammograms
  • carried out 2,238 ultrasounds
  • diagnosed 61 positive cases of breast cancer
  • traveled 1,715 kilometers
  • held 684 clinics