Dubai Health Authority, DHA, experts are advocating the importance of early detection in the battle against breast cancer.
Dr. Moaza Hattawi, General Surgeon at Dubai Hospital, said, "Breast cancer is the number one cancer in women worldwide and is increasing, particularly in developing countries, the majority of cases of which are diagnosed in late stages. If breast cancer is detected early on, the survival rate is more than 98 percent, however if the disease is only detected in the advanced stage, survival is only 27 percent."
Dr. Hattawi emphasised that early treatment is the best way to preserve breast tissue, fight the cancer and is also better for women who need partial or total breast reconstruction, as early diagnosis gives surgeons several clinical options to preserve the natural form and function of the breasts.
Dr. Nada Al Mulla, Family Medicine Specialist at DHA, said that women should have their first mammogram at 40 years of age and then every year thereafter. "Those with a family history of breast cancer should begin screening earlier. If a woman has a first-degree relative who was diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age, she should opt for yearly screening 10 years before the age of her relative’s diagnosis. However, she should start regular self-exams earlier."
Dr. Khawla Al Hajaj, Family Medicine Specialist at DHA, added that Dubai Hospital and DHA Primary Healthcare Centres, including Al Barsha, Nad Al Hamar and Al Mizhar, offer mammogram screenings. "Early detection is vital in order to minimise complications and save lives," she said.