Early detection has brought to light an increased number of breast cancer cases in recent years because people are better aware today.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Dr Layla Al Marzouqi, Acting Director of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), said: “A couple of years back, it was a taboo to talk about cancer — especially the mention of something like breast cancer. This perception has changed over the years as people are becoming more aware of their health and the risks associated with being unwell.” The official highlighted that the government policy is aimed at prevention of diseases and various campaigns run by the health authority have ensured a more timely detection of chronic diseases. “My priority as a policy-maker is to promote prevention and it’s always better than cure. Early detection and prevention of diseases can take away the pain of prolonged treatment. Early detection has brought to light an increased number of breast cancer cases in recent years because people are better aware today.”
The Joyalukkas Think Pink campaign is a major campaign planned for the breast cancer awareness month. Doctors and health specialists hope to reach out to the society with the message of early detection and self-examination. Sonia John Paul, director of Joyalukkas, explained the month-long campaign is designed to help remind women about their well being. “When we adorn a woman with ornaments to enhance her beauty, it’s also our responsibility to ensure her inner beauty and well being. Breast cancer is curable and early detection plays a big role.” Health specialists from Zulekha Hospital are partnering with the jewellery brand in the non-profit initiative which hopes to reach 200,000 people this year.
“We want the awareness initiatives to reach more people every year. Our outreach programme will reach 70 venues in 30 days in an attempt to raise awareness in the fight against breast cancer,” added Sonia.
The initiative follows a central theme of ‘Self check saves lives’. “As a healthcare provider, we feel it is our responsibility to support and do everything possible that results in the ... well being of people. While women over 40 are globally most affected, younger women are also being diagnosed with the disease, with women as young as 19 to 30 having been diagnosed with breast cancer in the UAE,” said Dr Zulekha Daud, managing director of Zulekha Healthcare Group. Globally, more than 2.6 million females have survived breast cancer.