Pink ties that bind cancer survivors
dubai — The thread of strength and resilience binds breast cancer survivors together in the narrative of their journey from diagnosis to complete recovery.
At the launch of the fifth edition of the ‘Pink It Now’ campaign organised by Zulekha Hospital on Monday to mark the International Breast Cancer Awareness month, three women spoke about their experiences beating the dreaded affliction.
Shaikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Founding Board Member of Friends for Cancer Patients (FoCP), who has been at the forefront in promoting breast cancer awareness, launched the campaign that advocates early detection and reducing cancer deaths across the UAE.
Dikrrayat Hayat, a survivor, said her diagnosis had come as a big shock. “I’d assumed I would never get breast cancer since I have always led an active lifestyle and eaten healthy.”
She discovered two lumps in her breast and underwent chemotherapy last year. “No one is immune to the disease… listen to your body,” she advised.
In collaboration with The Pink Caravan — an FoCP initiative that has been functioning in the UAE since 2011 to raise awareness about breast cancer — the aim is to highlight the importance of early detection, regular check-ups, and dispel innumerable myths that-surround this disease. “The Pink It Now campaign highlights the need for continued education and access to specialist screening options,” said Shaikha Lubna.
Ameera BinKaram, Founding Member and President of the Board of Directors of FoCP and Head of Pink Caravan Ride Higher Steering Committee said: “Many women in the UAE still hesitate to attend get cancer check-ups and make medical appointments only when they are unwell. This puts their health at risk, particularly in view of the fact that breast cancer is the most common form cancer in women worldwide.
“Women in the UAE should undergo regular check-ups, as 98 per cent of breast cancer cases detected during the early stages can be fully cured. They should also perform frequent self-examinations.”
Dr Pamela Munster, cancer expert from the University of California in San Francisco, US and the campaign’s chief ambassador since its inception, said: “Nearly 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in 2012 and in the Middle East and North Africa alone, breast cancer amounts to 30 per cent of all cancer cases.
“Last year, we doubled the number of women registering for free screenings over 2014 and we hope to have the same continued success this year,” said Zanubia Shams, cochairperson of Zulekha Hospitals. The 2015 edition of ‘Pink It Now’ saw 1,826 women taking advantage of free specialist oncologist and gynaecologist consultations.
Many women in the uae still hesitate to attend get cancer checkups and make medical appointments only when they are unwell. This puts their health at risk, particularly in view of the fact that breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women worldwide.” Ameera BinKaram, Founding Member & President of the Board of Directors of FoCP
I’d assumed I would never get breast cancer since I have always led an active lifestyle and eaten healthy. No one is immune to the disease… listen to your body” Dikrrayat Hayat, a survivor
Nearly 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in 2012; in the Middle east and North africa alone, breast cancer amounts to 30 per cent of all cancer cases.” Dr Pamela Munster, cancer expert, University of California in San Francisco
Shaikha Lubna with Dr Zulekha Daud and Dr Pamela Munster as they inaugurate Zulekha Hospital’s 5th year of Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, Pink it Now, at Conrad Hotel, Dubai, on Monday.