Breast cancer awareness day was marked at Marble Medical Center, Lusail, on Wednesday  with participation from a number of physicians, plastic surgeons, health educators, and activists. October 13, is the breast cancer awareness day.
Gynaecologist Dr Maram Karkar introduced the topic to the audience and stressed the importance of early detection through periodic breast self-examination, a simple procedure which could be conveniently done at home, in privacy.
Speaking to Gulf Times, Dr Karkar explained that about 80% of the early detected cases of breast cancer are identified by the women concerned themselves. Early detection helps to achieve the cure in about 95% of cases. "Self-examination should be routinely performed on the fifth day of the menstrual cycle after twenty years of age. It takes about five minutes and helps to reassure about the natural texture, size and shape of the breasts. However, it does not replace a doctor’s examination or the mammogram, especially when there is a family history.
"It is very important to note that one woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes around the world, and a woman dies every 13 minutes from this disease. Also, one to three out of every eight women are exposed to the disease at some point in their lives. Most cases occur between 30 to 44.
"Danger signs appear after 35, because of obesity, alcohol abuse, smoking, and lack of movement and exercise. A mammogram is recommended every two years for women over 45. Some blood tests can be done for women with a family history or the risk factors. There are some foods such as tomatoes, garlic, onions, green tea, and turmeric that protect and fight breast cancer," she added.
Plastic surgeon Dr Sara Ghorbani, with over 18 years’ experience in cosmetic surgery, spoke about recent research on breast cancer risks and told Gulf Times that breast implants does not increase the risk of the disease. Instead, in women who have breast implants, breast cancer can be diagnosed in earlier stages, zero or stage one as they undergo regular examinations.
Qatar Cancer Society's (QCS) specialist health educator Noor Hamad spoke about the importance of breast cancer awareness campaigns and the positive results achieved in Qatar. She told Gulf Times that “the month of October is the breast cancer awareness month and QCS is keen to raise awareness about the disease as it is widespread among women.
"I advise women from 20 to 44 to consult their doctor in case of any pain or if they notice any change during their periodic breast self-examination. Women above 45 have to undergo a mammogram examination. QCS campaigns have reached schools, universities and health centres, government institutions. So women’s awareness about breast cancer and its prevention has increased considerably and they are willingly attending regular examinations,” she concluded.
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