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Breast Cancer Early Detection Very Important to Avoid Strenuous Journey of Treatment

"Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women globally and in parallel with the Breast Cancer Awareness worldwide Month event, the national campaign for early detection of breast cancer was launched at the beginning of October throughout all the Syrian provinces” Dr. Wafaa Halloom, Head of the Reproductive Health Program at Lattakia Health Directorate , who is also the supervisor of the  national campaign there said in a statement to the Syriatimes e-newspaper.

 Dr. Halloom pointed out that in October, several countries around the world go pink to remind women of early detection, stressing the breast cancer can’t be prevented but the early detection can increase the chances of finding and defeating breast cancer before it spreads.

She reiterated that the early detection of breast cancer is the top priority of the Syrian health ministry which seeks through its national campaign to provide help and inspire hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services.

 "The national campaign aims at disseminating awareness about breast cancer  and the factors that may increase infection possibilities as well as at offering methods of protection from this disease,” Dr. Halloom added.

On her part,  Dr. Doujana Mohammed , Head of the General Health Programs Department at Lattakia’s Health Directorate told the Syriatimes that "during the International Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Syrian health ministry organizes different activities on the early detection of breast cancer, but this year the national campaign is a message by the health ministry to raise awareness and educate women about the importance of early detection to avoid a strenuous journey of treatment”. 

She pointed out that 110 health centers in addition to a number of mobile medical teams affiliated to the ministries of health, higher education, defense, interior and information have joined the campaign in Lattakia province.

Dr. Doujana indicated that within the framework of  the national campaign, a number of awareness  lectures, meetings, and symposiums were held aiming at educating women and inviting them to take necessary tests for the early detection of cancer as it saves women from total mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation.

She clarified that as a new initiative this year, the national campaign in cooperation with several civil and non-government organizations, such as the Family Planning Association, the Syrian Trust for Development, the  Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the Syrian society against cancer, has put 135 secondary schools in Lattakia province  as well as women in the factories  and other work places in the service of the national awareness campaign for early detection of breast cancer.

Dr. Doujana stressed that the "Because You Are Stronger than Cancer" campaign provides  free medical and radiological examinations and echo mammogram screenings for women .

She added the mobile medical teams also spare no effort to carrying out survey in Lattakia’s villages aiming at raising awareness about the risks of breast cancer and the importance of periodic screening in addition to teaching them about self-examination.

She indicated that every hospital or health center has committees that comprise doctors of tumors, radiologist and a surgeon to provide medical support to women, especially whose situation requires immediate treatment.

Dr. Doujana affirmed the need that women should perform a self-breast exam each month and any changes should be discussed by a doctor and the scan should be performed every two years after the age of 40 as regular breast cancer screen is important .

She confirmed that leading a healthy lifestyle, doing any kind of sport in addition to following a necessary treatment can help one reduce risk factors for breast cancer.

Dr. Doujana called on all women to be brave in the face of breast cancer and not to lose the golden period of treatment plan and regularly visit the health centers  which provide  constantly round-the-year examination for the early detection of breast cancer.

Interviewed by Rawaa Ghanam