MOH News
Wife of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to Launch the National Campaign for Early Detection of Breast Cancer
26 March 2012
   Her Royal Highness, Princess Hessah Al-Sha'lan, Wife of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, will launch the National Campaign for Early Detection of Breast Cancer, to be organized next week by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
 
The Assistant Deputy Minister for Preventive Medicine, Dr. Zeyad Memish, for his part, pointed out that the Campaign seeks to reduce the incidence of breast cancer in the Kingdom, and reduce its mortality accordingly. This objective could be attained by raising the awareness of the nature of the disease, its causes, ways of prevention, and, above all, early detection. The campaign places more emphasis on the improvement of early breast cancer detection, by way of self-examination, clinical examination, or through the mammography technique, as well as the improvement of the curative and rehabilitative services provided for patients. “It goes without saying that detection of breast cancer in its early phases is one of the most important secondary preventive strategies, as it increases the probability of recovery and survival by 98%, and, thus, lessens breast cancer mortality,” Dr. Memish said.
 
In a press conference held on this occasion, Dr. Memish went on to explain that the Fight against Cancer Program (with its various awareness campaigns, training programs, and curative and diagnostic services) is a national program covering all the Kingdom's regions and provinces. The Early Detection of Breast Cancer Program via mammography, to be launched next week, on the other hand, is a phased program, the first phase of which covers Riyadh Region, and targets the examination of no less than 10.000 women over the upcoming 12 months. The Program will be expanded to the Kingdom's remaining regions successively.
 
Meanwhile, Dr. Memish commended the colossal efforts made by the Ministry of Health in the fight against breast cancer. For instance, the Ministry has launched the Cancer National Register since 1994 to identify the prevalence of the various cancers throughout the Kingdom. Also, a program meant to fight cancer has been launched in conjunction with opening the MOH's Non-Communicable Diseases General Department in 2003. This program covers all the Kingdom's regions and provinces, and targets in its awareness campaign all society segments, including students, women and older persons. Unlike this program, the Breast Cancer Early Detection Program targets, with mammographic examination, 40-60-year-old women, since this age group is the most vulnerable to breast cancer.
 
Dr. Memish further explained that the number of cancer cases among women, according to the last Cancer National Register (2007) is 4773 cases, out of which 1259 cases suffer from breast cancer, which is equivalent to 26% of the total number of cancer cases among women. It should be noted, however, that the incidence of breast cancer in the Kingdom ranks one of the lowest incidences all over the world. The incidence of breast cancer in the Saudi Arabia, according to the ASR System, is 21.6 cases per 100.000 persons, as opposed to 88.9 cases per 100.000 persons in USA, and 48.2 cases per 100.000 persons in Qatar.
 
 “The national campaign,” Dr. Memish added, “includes familiarizing people with the nature of the disease, ways of prevention and early detection, through published educational material (brochures and posters), in addition to radio and TV programs, newspaper advertisements, SMSs, public display screens, educational movies, etc. National campaigns cover all citizens, as opposed to health workers' training programs, which are oriented towards all health workers at health centers.”
 
As his statement drew to a close, Dr. Memish expressed his gratitude to Her Royal Highness, the Wife of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, for her patronage of this campaign, commending her gracious initiatives and unstinting support of such social events and activities. He also extended his thanks to His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, for his keen interest in supporting the Assistant Agency for Preventive Medicine, and his close oversight of the awareness campaigns and educational programs carried out by the Ministry.
 



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