Last week, dialysis patients currently undergoing treatment at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Fahad Bin Jassim Kidney Center were screened for breast cancer. The two-day screening drive, which has become an annual event for HMC and Primary Health Care Corporation’s National Breast and Bowel Cancer Screening Program “Screen for Life”, provides dialysis patients with easier access to mammogram screening services.
“The joint initiative, now in its second year, was created to raise awareness about breast cancer among dialysis patients and to encourage women to undergo screenings by making the service more accessible,” said Dr. Fadwa Al Ali, Director of HMC’s Dialysis Services.
She added that most female dialysis patients receive treatment at the Fahad Bin Jassim Kidney Center three to four days per week, making it an opportune time to offer the mammogram service.
Screening services were available from 28 to 29 November at the PHCC’s specialized mobile screening unit, which has played a crucial role in the National Breast and Bowel Cancer Screening ‘Screen for Life’ campaign. The mobile unit is a moving clinic, staffed by highly skilled female healthcare professionals trained to efficiently operate the facility’s state-of-the-art equipment. The mobile unit is also wheel-chair friendly.
“The mobile screening unit has been invaluable in our efforts to provide access to crucial free breast cancer screenings to women in Qatar while also raising awareness of the importance of breast cancer screening,” said Dr. Shaikha Abu Shaikha, Cancer Program Manager, PHCC.
She added that the ongoing collaboration between PHCC and HMC allows both organizations to reach a greater number of women, educating them about the importance of early detection through screening and its crucial role in improving survival rates.
According to the Qatar Cancer Registry, breast and bowel cancers are among the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in women in the country. However, the survival rate for breast cancer can be up to 100 percent when diagnosed at an early stage and the survival rate for bowel cancer can be up to 90 percent if detected early.