MOH News

MOH Launches the National Campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness
12 October 2015
His Excellency the Deputy Minister of Health for Public Health, Dr. AbdulAziz bin Saeed launched yesterday (Monday) the National Campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness under the theme: "Reassure Us about You 2015", at Hayat Mall, in Riyadh.

He also launched the website of the National Program for Early Detection of Breast Cancer, which is deemed to be a detailed reference for everything related to breast cancer, including the events of the program, and the information relevant to the mobile and fixed locations of the detection clinics. He visited the early detection clinics for women health in the same commercial center, where screenings are conducted for diabetes, hypertension, and body fat mass index. In addition to the early detection of breast cancer via mammogram, the clinic offers clinical examination, and the soon-to-be available osteoporosis.


Bin Saeed proclaimed that the clinics of the National Program of the Early Detection of Breast Cancer helped screen women for breast cancer, during the past years, and contributed to the success of treatment at a rate of 95% to 100%, given that the treatment upon early detection is more effective. He urged women not to hesitate to undergo screening for early detection of the breast cancer, and to refer to the MOH's website for experiences of a number of women with the disease.


He added that establishing of early detection clinics for women is a major step made by the Program, with full-fledged support from MOH, and with community participation, along with the private sector, in an endeavor to highlight the importance of the integrated implementation of the early detection program in one clinic to make it easy for the woman to undergo a complete examination in only one visit. Additionally, those clinics highlight the importance of activating the community role in contributing to the health system based on sound scientific standards.


Dr. Bin Saeed indicated that MOH supports the community participation, especially from institutions interested in health, such as private hospitals and companies, to help them live up to their social duty towards society. He stressed the importance of prevention of diseases as a measure that would take the burden off MOH, the Kingdom, and the families of the patients to avoid the scourges of disease, noting that this is true of diseases in general, not only breast cancer.


Within the same vein, Bin Saeed commended several breast cancer partnerships, including the partnership with Hayat Mall Commercial Center, which has donated a location for a fixed clinic for early detection of breast cancer saying, "We would like to thank the administration of the Hayat Mall for donating the clinic of early detection of breast cancer, and other private hospitals, which provided the nursing staff for this clinic".


For her part, the Director of the National Program for Early Detection of Breast Cancer, and Supervisor of the campaign, Dr. Fatina Muhammed Al-Tahhan commended, in a welcoming speech on this occasion, the support and follow up of His Excellency the Minister of Health, and His Excellency the Vice Minister of Health. She also thanked the Deputy Minister of Health for Public Health for attaching his special importance and concern to the program. Her speech also included a detailed explanation of the campaign and the program, as well as introduction of the official and volunteering staff and their efforts for the program.


Additionally, Dr. Fatin said that this year's campaign will cover all the regions of the Kingdom, in cooperation with the program coordinators in regions and health affairs directorates, in addition to charities.


On his part, the Medical Director of the Oncology Center and Supervisor of the Breast Cancer Early Detection Program at King Fahad Medical City (KFMC) in Riyadh, Dr. Mushabab Assiri, said that the National Center for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer started by simple attempts to early detect this disease by a charity association and some activists in this field, then the program took the proper shape as wished by the Kingdom and the MOH after establishing the National Campaign for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer. He added that, the seed of the Campaign was a mere cooperation between the Saudi Cancer Society, the MOH, and a number of businessmen, who donated a number of vehicles.   


He added that the entire program is currently fully owned by the Kingdom and has reached out people, even in shopping areas. "We have observed a significant change in the way ladies look upon breast cancer, which is no longer viewed as the deadly disease we heard about several years ago. It is now regarded as one of the chronic, but curable diseases," he elaborated.


Dr. Assiri went on to add that, the number of women, who were examined via the program, reached 28.000 cases. That is to be added to other parallel programs in more than one region, which screened 80.000 women. He said that they are aiming at bringing all these programs together under one umbrella; that is the National Program for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer in the MOH.


For his part, the consultant in oncology and radiotherapy at the Medical Services Department in the Ministry of Defense, Dr. Essam Morshid, said that "In its broadest sense, early detection is based on a visit made to the doctor by a person with no apparent health problem; just to check whether they suffer any disease. As for the ladies, the program is intended for women who hit the age of forty, and have not shown any breast cancer symptoms; to make sure they are healthy."


He added that one of the advantages of the Program is that it's an integrated one, starting from the early detection through to referral for treatment, in case the lady is proven to have breast cancer. He underlined that the Program has proved its success and efficacy healthily and economically. The program is expected to be circulated to all regions of the Kingdom; the level of the cooperation is expected to increase with other health partners such as the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of National Guard, the Ministry of Interior, and King Faisal Specialist Hospital, in order for the program to be integrated, so that the burden would not be on the MOH only.



It's noteworthy, that the program witnessed, since its inception, the organization of several symposiums and awareness campaigns lasting all year across the Kingdom; training of a qualified health staff to educate thousands of women via the mammogram screening for more than 30.000 women in Riyadh region in the first phase, and the detection of 170 confirmed cases of breast cancer that have received treatment at KFMC,  thus saving the lives of a myriad of Saudi families.  



Last Update : 25 November 2015 09:29 AM
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