Women in Pink campaign pledges to raise awareness on breast cancer in Oman and across the Gulf

Roundup Tuesday 09/August/2022 07:51 AM
By: Times News Service
Women in Pink campaign pledges to raise awareness on breast cancer in Oman and across the Gulf

Novartis, ranked among the world’s top pharmaceutical companies, today announced the roll out of its new Women in Pink campaign which aims to raise awareness on Breast Cancer for a better quality of life for women across the Gulf region.

The campaign forms part of Novartis’ ongoing commitment to raise awareness and create solutions across the continuum of breast cancer care, and it encourages women across the region to become change-makers in their own health. It will also empower women by providing them with the right information to make the best choices for their treatment plan through partnerships with the Emirates Oncology Society and non-profit organisation, Friends of Cancer Patients  .  

“According to the World Health Organisation, breast cancer is the most common malignancy in all GCC Countries, with the incidence rate highest in Bahrain (46.4), followed by Kuwait (44.3), Qatar (35.5), the UAE (19.2), Oman (14.4) and Saudi Arabia (12.9). That’s why it is vital that we work together to improve public health education and awareness around prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer through initiatives such as the Women in Pink campaign,” says Professor Humaid Al Shamsi, President of the Emirates Oncology Society.

“Breast cancer rates across the GCC are comparatively low when examined against other industrialised countries. However, the disease still affects a significant proportion of the population, particularly women,” adds Dr. Sawsan Al Madhi, Director-General for Friends of Cancer Patients. “That’s why we believe that deep and broad change is needed in our approach to breast cancer in the Gulf, beginning with early screening and continuing with an ongoing commitment to improve and extend the lives of cancer patients. Through this campaign, we are empowering patients, before they become patients, to take control of their health by becoming their own advocates and inspire others to do the same.”

Around one third of cancers are preventable through simple changes in lifestyle, genetic testing of high-risk groups, and vaccination. The Women in Pink campaign was created to encourage women to get early cancer screenings, regular check-ups and mammograms as patients who receive an early diagnosis, and whose cancer is still localized, have a significantly higher survival rate. Additionally, the campaign aims to raise awareness of metastatic breast cancer symptoms so patients can identify them in themselves and others and to ensure that patients with metastatic breast cancer can gain access to enhanced and innovative treatment solutions.

“We need to improve the outcome of patients being treated for cancer, and nothing impacts cancer survival rates more than screening and early detection. By engaging with stakeholders at all levels, from patients to healthcare practitioners, we want to create a society in which early and frequent screening becomes accessible and simple and patients are able to receive treatment at the right time for the best outcome,” says Al Shamsi.

As part of the new campaign, Novartis will collaborate with different stakeholders and thought leaders to drive discussions on prevention, early intervention, and care management to improve patient outcomes, enhance quality of life, and optimise longevity for patients.

“At Novartis, we’re on a mission to transform the lives of patients and connect people and communities to better quality care. As we continue to develop innovative therapies to fight cancer and address the unmet needs of cancer patients, we are also committed to ensuring that they have the knowledge, tools, and support needed to manage the disease and live healthier lives,” adds Joy Khoury, Head of Communications and Patient Advocacy, Novartis Gulf.