The medical director of Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR) says the delivery of high-quality care for patients with cancer during the pandemic has been challenging. However, he says NCCCR cancer services have remained fully operational with day care, short-stay, and inpatient services being available to patients.
“With full adherence to the precautionary measures put in place by the Ministry of Public Health to curb the spread of Covid-19, the NCCCR continued delivering essential care to all patients with cancer, and without compromising patient treatment outcomes and overall care,” said Dr Mohamed Salem al-Hassan, medical director of NCCCR.
Dr al-Hassan says cancer services, like other specialties across HMC, have adopted a number of new measures to ensure the best possible care remained available to patients.
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, officials at HMC are urging patients with breast cancer, and other types of cancer, to take additional preventive measures to avoid contracting Covid-19. Some patients with cancer have weakened immune systems, due to their underlying condition or treatment. Having a weakened immune system makes it harder to fight off diseases and patients with cancer may be at higher risk for more severe Covid-19 illness. Even a mild case of Covid-19 could cause serious complications for individuals with cancer, so they must adhere to hand hygiene guidelines, avoid contact with individuals who are sick, and follow social distancing measures.
Speaking about breast cancer awareness month, Dr Salha Bujassoum al-Bader, chairman of Medical Oncology at NCCCR said, “Breast cancer is a health concern for women around the world. But if breast cancer is caught early and treated early, survival rates increase significantly and can be near 100%. That is why HMC is joining international forces to raise awareness about breast cancer during October. We are encouraging all women to know and understand breast cancer signs and symptoms and to learn more about the screening tests available in Qatar.”
“HMC’s continuous effort to raise awareness of breast cancer is the backbone of our overall awareness program. Our goal is to develop a healthy population and a cancer-free generation, stemming from our ongoing commitment to not only offer high-quality cancer care but also to educate the public on practical steps they can take to protect themselves from diseases,” added Dr al-Bader.
To mark this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, HMC has organised a month-long social media campaign with several health-related messages to raise awareness of breast cancer and focus on prevention and early detection, both during the pandemic and beyond.
People can follow HMC’s social media channels during October for advice on breast cancer prevention, early detection and treatment options available in Qatar. For more information on breast cancer, they can visit HMC’s website, www.hamad.qa.