Dr Mohamed Ilyas Khan, breastfeeding specialist, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Al Khor Hospital has been certified as a MammaCare specialist by the US-based MammaCare Foundation. 
Dr Khan is thought to be the first specialist in Qatar to hold the international certification, considered the gold standard for performing and teaching clinical breast examinations. 
“The training and technology provided to Dr Khan will enable him to make an even greater contribution to women’s health throughout Qatar and the region,” said Dr H S Pennypacker, president of the MammaCare Corporation.
MammaCare began in 1974 as a research project endorsed by the National Cancer Institute. The original research goal was to develop a training programme to teach effective and thorough ways of examining breast tissue as part of a larger strategy to support the early detection of small breast cancer tumours. 
Dr Khan said the training he received will help him empower patients to perform breast self-exams and to be their own health advocate.
“Early detection of breast cancer leads to better treatment outcomes. Mammograms are an important resource for our patients, but clinical breast exams are crucial to help detect tumors or breast tissue changes in between mammogram screenings. The MammaCare certification has provided me with additional skills to give our patients the best possible care and health outcome,” said Dr Khan.
Dr Khan says it is essential for women to take responsibility for their own breast health and to be diligent about not only getting regular breast exams but also conducting their own self-exams. 
“One of the barriers to doing a breast self-exam is that many women do not have the confidence, or knowledge, to tell the difference between normal breast tissue and changes that may require medical attention. As a certified breast specialist, I am able to train healthcare providers on how to find lumps in the breast through clinical breast examinations. I believe this new certification will help strengthen Al Khor Hospital’s already strong relationship with the National Center for Cancer Care and Research, the Qatar Cancer Society, and the Primary Health Care Corporation,” added Dr Khan.
As a graduate of the MammaCare Specialist Course, Dr Khan is now qualified to serve as a breast health educator and to instruct healthcare professionals and patients.
In addition to being a certified MammaCare specialist, Dr Khan is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, an accreditation he has held since 2001. He is also certified as a Self-Breast Examination Trainer and he holds a Level1 Clinical Breast Examination certification from the US-based National Consortium of Breast Centers.
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