Breast-cancer screening campaign to cover 50,000 women

MUSCAT, Aug 14 – Winning the battle against cancer is imperative as it has a direct impact on the economy of the country.
Speaking at the first-of-its-kind launch of the National Programme for Breast Cancer Screening and Awareness, Oman Cancer Association (OCA) Chairman Dr Wahid al Kharusi, said: “When breast cancer in women is detected in the initial stages, it costs 40 times less to treat and completely cure it.”
The six-month-long countrywide campaign will cover 50,000 women across the country.
“In advanced or secondary stages of breast cancer, not only is cost staggeringly high, but chances of survival become very uncertain”, he added.
Elaborating further, Dr Wahid said the initiative was being carried out in cooperation with the Mother and Child Department of the Ministry of Health, and the National Oncology Centre of the Royal Hospital.
“The importance of advocacy for awareness against cancers cannot be overstressed. We have to go out across the length and breadth of the Sultanate’s 11 governorates and convince the community that regular and repeated examinations will give positive results of early diagnosis.”
“Side by side, this national programme, which has been dubbed as a Private Public Partnership (PPP) will drive home the message that together we can be strong”, Dr Wahid stressed.
Dr Fatima al Hinai, Heading the Mother and Child Department of the Ministry of Health, said: “Over the course of the next six months, trained nurses and oncologists from the National Oncology Centre will reach out to women across all the 11 governorates, schoolgirls from grade 10 upwards and also higher educational institutions and conduct clinical breast examination (CBE) and teach them the importance of monthly self-breast examination (SBE).
According to Dr Al Hinai, the campaign is also targeting men. “Men are a vital component, since they can play an important role in influencing the mindset of their wives and other family members towards early and regular examination to check and prevent breast cancer.”
The mobile mammography unit of OCA will travel across Oman, offering free mammograms to women over 40. Those showing positive signs will be fast-tracked for immediate treatment.