In line with its policy to promote early screening and enhance preventive healthcare, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has introduced breast cancer screening for its patients at certain health care centres, said a top DHA official.
His Excellency Essa Al Maidoor, Director-General of the DHA, said: “Breast cancer is the commonest cancer in women worldwide; early detection and treatment is absolutely essential to reduce the burden of the disease and this can be achieved through the screening program. Through the introduction of this service, we will further improve quality of care and enhance preventive care which leads to improved patient outcomes.”
Dr Manal Taryam, CEO of Primary Healthcare at the DHA, said: “Presently the mammogram machine and breast cancer screening service has been introduced at Al Barsha health centre. It will be introduced at Nad Al Hamar health centre by September this year and in Al Mizhar heath centre by the end of the year. These three centres will provide screening for all primary healthcare customers.”
Dr Taryam, added: ” DHA primary healthcare centres have always advised who are 40 years or older, as well as those with a family history of cancer, to get themselves screened. Prior to the introduction of these services at the PHC facilities, we referred patients to DHA hospitals.”
She said that the purpose of screening is to detect breast cancer early on. “The aim of breast screening is to detect breast cancer early so that treatment will be more effective. With early detection, the prognosis of the patient is much better, with an increased chance of survival and statistically higher life expectancy.”
She added that women with a family history of breast cancer need to be screened early on. For instance, if the patient’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 39, the patient should begin her breast cancer screening at 29 years- at least ten years prior- to maximize the chances of early detection.”
She advised women to be aware of this service and to ensure they avail of this screening either at 40 years or earlier, depending on family history and other parameters. She also advised that the test should be repeated every two to three years or earlier if advised by the doctor.
She added that the mammogram machine costs AED 2,000,000 and that presently the Al Barsha primary health centre has two radiologists and four radiographers that will conduct a weekly breast cancer screening clinic.