Breast Cancer Awareness Month begins in Oman

Muscat: Oman Cancer Association (OCA) has urged the public to register quickly for the annual walkathon to be held later this month.

As part of the Global Breast Cancer Awareness Month, OCA will have a series of awareness campaigns that will culminate with the 16th annual Walkathon, a symbolic walk covering a distance of just under three-km held at Qurm Nature Park.

Emphasizing on the importance of the month and the awareness World Health Organisation (WHO) had stated, “The Breast Cancer Awareness Month, marked in countries across the world every October, helps to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection, and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease.

There are about 1.38 million new cases and 458 000 deaths from breast cancer each year (IARC Globocan, 2008). Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in developed and developing countries. In low- and middle-income countries the incidence has been rising up steadily in the last few years due to an increase in life expectancy, increase urbanization and adoption of western lifestyles.”

With just 28 days left everyone ought to be geared up as it is the month where thousands of supporters choose to walk with Oman Cancer Association to observe the Breast Cancer Month marked in the countries across the world.

“Last year there were 8,456 registrations, this year we want to make it to 10, 000,” said the organizers.

To participate one must register for the benefit of cancer patients, their families and community at large to afford extra care. Oman Cancer Association announced the 16th Annual Walkathon and the activities for the month at the press conference held on October 1st at its headquarters– the pink ribbon initiative for breast cancer awareness month, to be held on Tuesday on 29th October 2019 from 4 pm to 6.30 pm.

“This is an invitation to the walkathon, a family event platform to support cancer patients and their families,” said the organizers.

The event themed, ‘Together we win’ will be promoted throughout this month to spread awareness on all cancers. This is at the culmination of the Annual Global October Pink Ribbon, a whole month event dedicated to breast cancer awareness.Om

Individuals in other areas of the Sultanate can participate through the regional walks that will be conducted by OCA’s branches in Salalah, Dhakhiliya, Al Dhahira, Al Batinah and South Al Sharqiya.

Throughout this month, building up to the walkathon, OCA will be conducting awareness campaigns at the commercial malls such as Muscat City Centre, Qurm City Centre, Oman Avenues Mall, Mall of Muscat and Muscat Grand Mall.

According to the WHO, “Currently there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer, therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control. When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that breast cancer can be cured. If detected late, however, curative treatment is often no longer an option. In such cases, palliative care to relief the suffering of patients and their families is needed.”

As per the WHO statistics, the majority of deaths (269 000) occur in low- and middle-income countries, where most women with breast cancer are diagnosed in late stages due mainly to lack of awareness on early detection and barriers to health services. WHO promotes comprehensive breast cancer control programmes as part of national cancer control plans. According to its statement, “The recommended early detection strategies for low- and middle-income countries are awareness of early signs and symptoms and screening by clinical breast examination in demonstration areas. Mammography screening is very costly and is feasible only in countries with good health infrastructure that can afford a long-term programme.”

In Oman, OCA will be offering free clinical examinations and free mammogram readings for ladies over 40 years of age.

With RO 3.5 one can register for the walk at the malls during the events, at the OCA office in Al Ghubrah and online.