‘Screen for Life’, the National Breast and Bowel Cancer Screening
Program led by the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and supported
by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), has conducted over 6,000 breast
screenings since the program was launched in 2016. The program, which
is conducted under Qatar’s National Cancer Program, represents a shift
towards preventive and community-based care and mainly targets women
aged 45 to 69.
According to Dr. Amal Al Obaidly, Deputy Chair and
Senior Consultant in Radiology at the National Center for Cancer Care
and Research (NCCCR), the program encourages women with no symptoms to
receive breast cancer screening through mammography, which is generally
considered safe, quick, and relatively painless. She said early
detection of breast cancer vastly increases survival rates.
Breast and Bowel Screening Program is a life-saving initiative that
aims to promote education, awareness and early detection of breast and
bowel cancer in Qatar. Screening tests can help find cancer at an early
stage before symptoms appear. By the time symptoms appear, the cancer
may have grown and spread. Early diagnosis and treatment of breast
tumors significantly improve survival rates,” said Dr. Al Obaidly.
added that if something suspicious is found during the initial
screening, patients are referred to HMC for additional tests. HMC and
PHCC have worked together to develop a process that facilitates early
detection and diagnosis and treatment, ensuring patients feel supported.
At NCCCR, patients undergo more extensive screening, including an
ultrasound or biopsy.
Dedicated breast and bowel screening
centers have been opened at PHCC’s in Al Wakra, Leabaib, Rawdat, and Al
Khail, and a Mobile Mammogram Screening Unit regularly visits the other
centers. To book a screening appointment the public should call one of
the centers or ask to be referred by their primary health care
The National Breast and Bowel Cancer Screening
Program is essential to reducing the incidence of breast cancer in Qatar
by providing fast, high-quality services that help in the early
detection of breast tumors and the development of appropriate treatment
Dr. Al Obaidly says that women aged 45 and above are
encouraged to be screened for breast cancer. She says women should be
observant for any persistent lumps in the breast or armpit, changes in
the shape or size of their breasts, and breast skin changes, such as
dimpling, puckering, redness, increased warmth, thickening, or itching.
She also advised that nipple changes, such as sudden inversion,
discharge, or scaling may be a warning sign of breast cancer.