National campaign to fight breast cancer: an impact that grazes world level

Written by Bahaa Ramli

Translated by Rabab Housseiny

NNA - "She reminds you of everything; remind her of the mammography date." This is the motto chosen by the national committee to fight breast cancer, headed by the Director General of the Ministry of Public Health, Walid Ammar, for the 13th awareness campaign.


In 2002, 115 of women underwent mammography. In 2013, the number increased to 52%. It was a huge accomplishment by the campaign, en route for combating the disease, noting that the healing ratio could reach 90% in the event of early detection of the disease.


The Director of the Medical Culture and Coordinator of the national awareness campaign against breast cancer, Rasha Hamra, displayed to the National News Agency the results of the campaign and the measures adopted by the Ministry within this context.


She indicated that the campaign started in Lebanon in 2002, following an increase in the number of women with breast cancer. A year later, statistics unveiled 1300 new cases. This hike was maintained in 2008 and 2009, where more than 1700 cases have been recounted, in addition to other 8000 cancer cases. This means that breast cancer constitutes 21% of other types of this disease which hits both men and women. Moreover, breast cancer constitutes 43% of cancer types that hit women, which is considered a high ratio.


Hamra also highlighted the importance of early detection, since international studies have proved that such detection would improve the healing ratio by 90%.


She evoked many means to detect this disease, including clinical examination and self-examination. Anyhow, she avowed that mammography remains the best way.


She explained that resorting to early detection led, on the world level, to reducing the number of women affected with breast cancer. She reminded that in the United States, Canada and Europe, 50% of breast cancer patients were 50-year-old women. In Lebanon, 40% of cases begin at a younger age for reasons that are still as yet unknown.


In fact, according to Hamra, any woman with a relative affected with breast cancer, must start medical exams at the age of 35.


She added that not only married women should undergo medical tests, but also single women.


Pertaining to the results of the annual awareness campaign, studies show that in 2002, 11% of women have underwent mammography, 18% in 2005, 27% in 2008, and 52% in 2013.


She went on to say that since 2002, the Ministry had adopted a series of measures, including the establishment of public hospitals nationwide, the extension of the awareness campaigns' duration, and signature of agreements with private hospitals to reduce the cost of mammography.


She indicated that 62 hospitals participated in the campaign throughout Lebanon, in addition to 54 radiology centers and 24 governmental hospitals.


Furthermore, she said that the Ministry of Public Health started in 2008 distributing forms in all the medical centers, comprising questions on the reasons that have led women to undergo mammography.


She added that the national committee had organized many training sessions at hospitals in cooperation with the Lebanese Radiologists Association. She explained that the sessions aimed to improve the performance of technicians and to encourage the centers to cooperate with the technicians in rural regions.


She also ruled out the link between the treatment cost assumed by the Ministry and the awareness campaign launched annually.


She underlined that the Ministry was looking forward to increasing the number of women responding to the campaign and the early detection.


She noted that the ratio of women who had undergone mammography for the first time increased from 11% to 52%, which constituted a good result comparing to the international ratios vacillating between 50 and 70%.


She did not fail to highlight the necessity of the contribution to the campaign of all syndicates in relation with the medical campaign.


She lastly reminded of the hotline number, 1214, to communicate with the Ministry and inform it of any complaint or any center that refuses to do the tests at the prices fixed by the Ministry.
 

تابعوا أخبار الوكالة الوطنية للاعلام عبر أثير إذاعة لبنان على الموجات 98.5 و98.1 و96.2 FM

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