The survival rate from malignant breast cancer in Qatar from 2013 to 2015 was at 82.3%, according to the Ministry of Public health (MoPH).
“Despite its high incidence rate, the three-year survival rate from malignant breast cancer in Qatar from 2013-2015 was at 82.3%. Much of this success is due to the cutting edge cancer services provided to cancer patients in Qatar,” the ministry said in a statement.
According to statistics released by the Qatar National Cancer Registry at MoPH, a total of 248 cases of malignant breast cancer were diagnosed in the country in 2015. Of this 242 were women.
The rate of breast cancer among men is relatively low with only six cases diagnosed in the same year.
The MoPH worked closely with healthcare providers and partners throughout October, to reduce the incidence of breast cancer and further increase survival rates by raising awareness of the disease through a nationwide 'Together Against Breast Cancer' campaign.
Breast cancer is the main cause of female malignant cancer in Qatar representing 39.41% of all diagnosed cancers. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths and, excluding skin cancer, is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women, with 1 in 8 women being diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime.
Catherine Gillespie, National Cancer Programme director at the MoPH, said: “Healthcare providers working in cancer care across the country have been working together for some time to raise awareness of breast cancer and provide clear and consistent messages about reducing the avoidable risks and the importance of early detection. This is of key importance for breast cancer as we know that treating it at an early stage significantly improves outcomes for those diagnosed with the disease.”
Dr Shaikha Abu Shaikha, cancer programme manager at Primary Health Care Corporation, noted: “The ‘Screen For Life’ team works tirelessly throughout the year to raise awareness of the importance of early detection of breast cancer through screening. Year on year, the programme is becoming more widespread across the community, with an increasing number of lectures and other activities taking place bring about an increasing level of engagement. This is the result of the discipline, dedication and perseverance of our team with support from both the government and private sectors who have helped greatly.”
Michel Harkous, director of Nursing Education at the National Centre for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR), said: "Qatar's healthcare providers and their partners have made significant efforts to make cancer support services the success they are today. No matter how hard we try, we cannot combat cancer alone. It is only through collaboration that can we fight this disease."
Mariam al-Noaimi, general manager of Qatar Cancer Society (QCS), also commented on the importance of breast cancer awareness and prevention.
"The 'Life is Pink' campaign of QCS emphasised the importance of periodic examinations for the early detection of breast cancer and the measures that can be taken to prevent it," she said.
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