Symposium highlights advancements in breast cancer treatment

MUSCAT, Aug 11 – Breast cancer — a relatively common occurrence in the Sultanate — is potentially treatable upon early diagnosis, according to a visiting specialist from India. Dr Upasana Saxena, Consultant Radiation Oncology at the Mumbai branch of Health Care Global, told an international symposium held in Muscat recently that better awareness, routine check-ups, self-examination and other measures, are key to tackling the incidence of breast cancer in the Sultanate.
Around 60 doctors, including breast cancer specialists, fertility specialists, oncologists, general surgeons, pathologists and family physicians, attended the symposium organised by Muscat Family Physicians. According to Dr Saxena, surgeons are increasingly looking at conservative surgical approaches rather than the total removal of cancer-ridden breasts resulting in better outcomes.  Short term, high intensity and focused radiation therapy also helps in preventing damage to surrounding tissues and recurrence of cancer, she noted. The expert also lamented the lack of awareness about these new treatment options among many doctors, as well as the general public. Only a handful of medical centres offer these modern treatments, she said.
In closing remarks, Dr Sanjay Dalal, Coordinator of Muscat Family Physicians, said the symposium was part of the group’s Continuing Medical Education (CME) programme — billed as the longest running programme organised by any private health establishment in the Sultanate.
“It is education for all medical practitioners who want to join, and it’s free of charge,” he said, while thanking the Department of Private Health Establishments Affairs (Ministry of Health) and the Oman Medical Specialty Board for their support.