Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), in conjunction with the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), recently concluded a four-day breast cancer awareness drive at HMC’s Fahad Bin Jassim Kidney Center that saw PHCC’s mobile screening unit offer mammogram services to dialysis patients.
The joint initiative was designed to raise awareness of breast cancer among dialysis patients, to promote the importance of breast cancer screening, and to highlight the role of early detection in saving lives. The activity also aimed to encourage dialysis patients to undergo screening by making the service more accessible.
Breast screening services were offered to all female dialysis patients aged 45 to 69. The screenings, which could be arranged before or after the patient attended their dialysis session, were performed by physicians and nurses.
Early diagnosis of cancer is linked to better survival rates. According to the US-based National Breast Cancer Foundation, the survival rate for breast cancer can be up to 100 percent when caught at an early stage. Unfortunately, participation rates for cancer screenings worldwide is low, which is why HMC, along with other healthcare partners in Qatar such as PHCC, are doubling efforts to promote the importance of screenings and make the service more accessible.
Speaking about the screening initiative, Dr. Fadwa Al-Ali, Senior Consultant Nephrologist, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in Qatar and Director of the National Dialysis Network at HMC said: “As dialysis patients are already attending the Kidney Center three to four days per week, based on their individual dialysis requirements, we felt that making the screening service available onsite would leave them with little excuse for neglecting the need for breast screenings. We have collaborated with PHCC to offer mammogram screenings on our premises during the course of our breast cancer awareness drive.”
Dr. Al-Ali continued: “According to healthcare experts, evidence shows that early detection reduces deaths from breast cancer. Experts estimate that breast screening services save the lives of a significant number of women each year. Hence, Qatar is expanding the service so more women can benefit and more lives can be saved.”
Commenting on the collaboration with HMC, Dr. Shaikha Abu Shaikha, Cancer Program Manager at PHCC said: “Partnering with entities such as HMC allows us to reach a greater number of people and educate them on the importance of breast screening. “We have achieved significant success through our ‘Screen for Life’ program, and we are keen to drive this further in our efforts to promote a healthy population across Qatar. I thank HMC for working with us on this and look forward to further collaborations.”