The Pink Caravan breast cancer awareness campaign, a Friends of Cancer Patients society (FoCP) initiative, collaborated with University Hospital Sharjah, to provide accredited training for breast cancer medical screenings and examinations, and effective awareness communications, to 25 medical professionals, which included doctors as well as paramedical staff
The training was organised as an important factor to prepare medical professionals for the medical screenings programme, which started on 15th February.
Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, Secretary General for Friends of Cancer Patients society (FoCP) and Head of Pink Caravan’s Medical and Awareness committee, said, “Every year, Pink Caravan’s medical staff, which includes doctors and paramedical staff, is carefully chosen from a selection of exceptionally talented medical practitioners and are provided high quality and accredited training.
“This equips them to communicate more effectively and thoroughly with both women and men who come for checkups. During the first 11 days of the screenings and awareness campaign, we are aiming for over 5,000 screenings, besides building awareness on the various myths surrounding breast cancer.”
During the campaign, the medical team will pan out in different hospitals and primary health centres, where they will examine people, conduct screenings and, if need be, refer cases that necessitate further action for further mammogram tests.
Dr Lougion Metab, who has clocked seven years at the Primary Health Care Ajman and has a total of 25 years of experience in the profession, has been part of all the previous Pink Caravan screenings and awareness campaigns. “My speciality is family medicine and I know what harm cancer can wreak on a patient’s life including the impact on other family members. However, 95 per cent of all breast cancer cases, if detected early, can be cured. My message is, therefore, timely detection will save you and your family. Women should undergo periodic mammogram tests every two years after attaining the age of 40 and once every year after 50.”
Mona Salem Ahmed Saeed Al-Yasmeen Yammahi, who has been practising family medicine for seven years in Al Ain and is Director of Qurrayah Primary Health Centre, was part of last year’s Pink Caravan, “Containing the bane of breast cancer is a noble task and I’m happy that the services are made available for one and all free of cost. It also pleases me that more Emirati doctors like me are enlisting for the Pink Caravan’s awareness and screenings programme this year, because it makes the task of connecting with locals, especially in remote areas of the Emirates much easier.”
This view was shared by another Emirati doctor on the team, Dr Shaikha Mohammed Alhayayi, who has been working at the Al Fujairah Health Centre for the last six years.
Dr Samer Mohiedeen from the Primary Health Care & School Health Centre at Ajman, is one of the doctors who are also part of this year’s medical convoy. “It is my second year with Pink Caravan. It’s very important that the message of early detection gets across to as many people as possible, and I want to do my part by helping this campaign achieve their goal. One of the myths surrounding breast cancer is that men are not affected by it, which is not true. Breast cancer can also affect men, although the ratio compared to women is 1:100. Therefore, my advice to men, particularly those with testicular or liver problems, or with a family history of breast cancer is to undergo checkups. This is more significant if the person in question has crossed the age of 40. In this case, a mammogram test once every three years is a must.”