As part of its efforts to transform healthcare in Qatar and the wider region, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) recently staged a week of activities to raise awareness of breast cancer.
Activities commenced on October 25, with a QBRI-manned booth at Qatar Cancer Society’s (QCS) ‘Walk to Support’ event on Doha Corniche, where scientists from QBRI raised awareness among the community about the importance of early detection while providing facts and dispelling myths about breast cancer. The ‘Walk to Support’ highlighted the importance of periodic examinations and healthier lifestyles in combatting breast cancer.
Two days later, QBRI’s scientist Dr Julie Decock was at Aspire Ladies Club to deliver an informal talk on breast cancer-related issues to a group of women of various ages. Activities concluded on October 31 with a ladies-only event that formed part of cancer society’s ‘Our Passion in Our Health’ programme. Proceedings included a series of awareness sessions covering the most common cancers afflicting women in Qatar.
Dr Omar El Agnaf, executive director, QBRI, said, “Breast cancer awareness campaigns are important in Qatar and abroad for so many reasons. For instance, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women worldwide and the leading cause of cancer-related mortality among Qatari women. The good news is that, if detected early, there is a 90% survival rate. Moreover, physically active women are less likely to develop breast cancer than their inactive counterparts.”
“While breast cancer prevalence in the Arab region is similar to other parts of the world, studies nevertheless suggest that Arab women may experience a more aggressive form of the condition and may suffer from a younger age. This underlines the importance of QBRI’s Cancer Research Centre, which focuses on the cellular and molecular basis of cancer initiation,” he added.