Pink Caravan Ride ’19 brings 11 breast cancer cases to light - GulfToday

Pink Caravan Ride ’19 brings 11 breast cancer cases to light

Pink-Caravan

The countrywide campaign of Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) offered free screenings and clinical examinations to 7,200 citizens and residents. WAM

 This year, 11 women in the age group of 32 to 52 tested positive for breast cancer during the ninth annual Pink Caravan Ride, PCR, and have been sent for further examination.

Six of the 10 women were examined in Sharjah, three in Ras Al Khaimah, one in Umm Al Quwain, and one in Ajman.

The countrywide breast cancer awareness and early detection campaign and initiative of Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP), UAE, offered free screenings and clinical examinations to 7,200 citizens and residents this year both men and women across the seven emirates from Feb.23 to March 1, 2019.

The diagnosed women are all above 40 years of age and have reported stage two and stage four cancer. These patients are now receiving free treatment at the best medical entities in the UAE.

The announcement was made at an evaluation meeting held by PCR’s Higher Steering Committee, during which the most significant outcomes and achievements of the ninth ride were reviewed. The meeting was held in the presence of Reem BinKaram, Chairperson of the PCR Higher Steering Committee; Badr Al Juaidi, PCR Manager; Nada Bin Ghalib, Head of the Equine Committee; Yousef Al Taweel, Head of the Media Committee; Abdullatif Al Sayegh, Head of the Logistics Committee; and other PCR committee members.

“As a majority of the detected cases are among patients in the above-40 age group, we reiterate the importance of regular self-examination for early detection, especially once a woman turns 40. If the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the survival rate is as high as 98 per cent. Therefore, it’s imperative that women take their health seriously,” BinKaram said.

The Pink Caravan advises people, especially women, to adopt the following breast cancer screening plan: a monthly self-examination, a clinical examination once every 1 to 3 years (for those aged between 20 and 39), once a year (for those aged above 40), and a mammogram once every two years (for those aged between 40 and 49), and once a year (for those aged 50 and above).

In March a delegation from UK-based Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital recently visited the Pink Caravan Mobile Medical Clinic stationed at University Hospitals Sharjah (UHS) to gain insight on the operations, medical equipment, latest technologies in breast and cervical cancer screening and services offered. The visit sought to exchange knowledge and experiences, in addition to strengthening cooperation.

The state-of-the-art mobile medical clinic operates under the Pink Caravan, a pan-UAE breast cancer awareness initiative by UAE-based cancer charity, Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP).

During the tour, the delegation also visited Sharjah Breast Cancer Centre at UHS and was briefed about the mammogram examination process and procedures carried out when preliminary screening reveals specific symptoms.

The UK delegation were welcomed by key members of UHS, headed by Dr Ali Obaid Al Ali CEO of UHS, Dr. Sawsan Al Madhi, Director General of FOCP, and Head of Pink Caravan’s Medical and Awareness Committee, and representatives from Pink Caravan.

Launched in 2018, the Pink Caravan Mobile Medical Clinic is the first-of-its-kind clinic that offers free screening and early detection services around the year across the seven emirates. The mobile unit services include breast cancer screening with 3D mammography, cervical cancer screenings, as well as a range of other medical tests, including sugar, blood pressure, osteoporosis and height and weight measurements.

Regarding the visit, Sawsan Jafar, Chairperson of FOCP Board of Directors, noted, “This visit comes as part of FOCP’s ongoing strategy to connect with medical institutions in the region and across the world to exchange knowledge and expertise in cancer screening and treatment.”

At the end of the tour, the delegation visited FOCP headquarters at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, and oversaw the operations and various functions of FOCP departments.

“We also were introduced to the support services of FOCP for cancer patients and their families, and learned how the operations take into consideration the emotional toll on female patients. We hope this visit is the start of a beneficial cooperation between us, in order to exchange knowledge and experience in the cancer field,” she said.

WAM