More than 30 per cent of cancer cases in women in Qatar are breast-related

October 6, 2010

More than 30 per cent of cancer cases in women in Qatar are breast-related, a senior doctor has said.

“Out of those who underwent breast screening programme in the last two years at the HMC facility, less than 10% were considered as malignant cases. Even in that, only a few succumbed to the disease,” Dr Salha Bujassoum, consultant haematologist-oncologist at the Hamad Medical Corporation, said at a workshop organised by the Supreme Council of Health.

She attributed the low fatality figure to “the remarkable advances in treatment facilities available in the country.”

Even though early diagnosis could bring positive results in treatment, fewer women in Qatar took advantage of the screening facilities at the HMC last year compared with 2008 when the programme was launched, going down from 718 in 2008 to 391 in 2009.

The consultant said the chances of breast cancer are the highest in the age group of 41-49, followed by those in 50-60 age group. Among the patients, close to 25 per cent are Qataris.

A family history of breast cancer can increase a woman’s chances of developing the disease, she said.

Early detection can save a patient’s life and the consultant advised women to go to the HMC’s multi-disciplinary clinic for screening rather than conduct their own examination.

“Own examination may be useful in the beginning. However, the chances of survival are much better if medical attention is received in the early stage itself,” she said, quoted by Qatari daily Gulf Times.

It is also important for women aged 40 and above to visit the screening facility at least once a year, according to the oncologist.

Complete cure is possible if the patient is in the first stage of the disease, but it gets complicated after that, she said.

Besides oncologists, the multi-disciplinary team to treat patients at HMC’s screening facility consists of pathologists and radiologists to ensure that patients receive proper follow-up, she said.  

Regular exercises, a balanced and healthy diet and quitting or avoiding smoking could bring positive results, Dr Bujassoum said.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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