SEHA calls upon the public to resume screenings and self-examination, as breast cancer continues to account for the most prominent type of cancer found in women in the UAE
Abu Dhabi - 07 October 2021: Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), the UAE's largest healthcare network, is urging women across the UAE to prioritize their health and get screened this Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The multi-faceted campaign will run across SEHA's facilities, including mobile mammogram trucks and webinars, ensuring equitable access to breast cancer care and awareness.
According to the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in women in Abu Dhabi and accounts for 44% of cancers in women and if found at the early stage, 98% of women will survive. With the effects of the global pandemic still being felt across the globe, there has been a rise in people delaying cancer screenings and hospital visits leading to later detection and a reduction in survival outcomes.
Dr. Noura Al Ghaithi, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ambulatory Healthcare Services (AHS), SEHA, said, “We cannot stress enough the importance of early detection when it comes to overcoming breast cancer. Too often we are seeing patients overlook and dismiss symptoms resulting in a late diagnosis. The more diligent we are with screenings, the more likely we are to diagnose the disease early and treat it successfully. We recommend women over the age of 40 to undergo regular mammogram screenings every two years. If you are in the risk group, please contact your physician and schedule in a mammogram. We urge you and your loved ones to not delay and prioritize cancer care at the soonest.”
Physicians at SEHA are encouraging the community to have open conversations with their primary care physicians on when to begin breast cancer screening tests, learn how to complete the self-exam and identify abnormalities like lumps. This is in addition to adopting a healthy lifestyle by exercising for at least 30 minutes a day five days a week, maintaining a healthy weight and enjoying a balanced diet.
Dr Khalid Saeed Balaraj, Chair of Oncology Services, Tawam Hospital, added, “Conducting regular self-checks and mammogram screenings is key to detecting breast cancer early. We urge women to discuss their personal and family medical histories with their healthcare providers to determine their likelihood of developing breast cancer, while continuing to look for changes in the breast, such as symmetry, size, skin tone and texture, discharge, tenderness, or pain. Through education and awareness, we can identify the disease at an early stage and help patients overcome it.”
Preventive screening is available across SEHA's AHS Healthcare Centers and Al Dhafra Hospitals. For female patients above 40 (or those with risk factors), mammograms are available in multiple locations to ensure ease of access in Abu Dhabi including Al Bateen, Zafaranah, Madinat Khalifa, Baniyas, and at Al Muwaiji in Al Ain.
To provide easy access and convenience, mobile mammogram trucks will also be stationed at additional AHS clinics including Al Yahr Healthcare Center, Al Jahili, Al Towayya Children's Speciality Center, Oud al Touba Diagnostic and Screening Center, Al Hili Healthcare Center, Mezyad Healthcare Center, Neima Healthcare Center, Al Khatem Healthcare Center and Tawam Breast Care Center, and Al Wagan Hospital. These trucks will visit the clinics throughout the year. SEHA will also be conducting multiple online webinars which will be announced on SEHA's social media channels @SEHAhealth.
As part of SEHA's network, patients with abnormal findings are promptly referred for advanced care at SEHA's hospitals, providing a seamless and stress-free process for patients. The Breast Care Center at SEHS's Tawam Hospital is the first center in the country to become recertified with the Joint Commission International (JCI) Clinical Care Program Certification (CCPC) for six Oncology Programs. Tawam's Breast Care Centre is equipped with state-of-the- art screening and diagnostic equipment, in addition to a dedicated multidisciplinary team.