In cooperation with the Security Media Department at the General Secretariat of the Office of H.H Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; the Health Authority- Abu Dhabi; the Ministry of Health at the countrywide level; and the Federal Demographic Structure Council, the Ministry of Interior, represented by the Medical Services Department at Abu Dhabi Police recently launched an awareness campaign to fight breast cancer. The campaign also aims to encourage MoI staff members and their families to conduct regular medical checkups and early detection tests, in line with the International Day against Breast Cancer.

Lt. Colonel Dr. Najla Asaad Taher, Head of the Initiative of Early Detection of Chronic Diseases and Cancer said: “The campaign includes the various police general headquarters across the UAE and aims to improve knowledge and prevention practices. It also highlights the advantages of early detection of cancer;  the need to increase knowledge about behaviors that reduce the risk of developing cancer, and  increase the chances for recovery if detected early, in addition to encouraging positive approaches towards preventive measures such as early detection and self- examination.” She also pointed out that the campaign will include comprehensive workshops and awareness lectures for staff members and their families.

She added: “According to health statistics, about one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime and the risk of developing breast cancer increases as they get older. Men can also develop breast cancer but it’s much less common in men than women. The overall incidence of breast cancer in males is approximately 1/100th that of the rate in females.”

Adding further, she said: “The X-ray examination of the breast, known as Mammography (Mammogram) is the best breast cancer screening tool known to reduce deaths from the disease. It is the process of using x-rays to examine the breast and helps in detecting cancer before any symptoms or changes occur in the breast”.

Moreover, she advised all women to have a mammography every one or two years starting at the age of 40. However, screening mammograms may be recommended for younger women under 40 with a family history of breast cancer and other risk factors. It is also recommended for women in their 20s to have a clinical breast exam (CBE) as part of a periodic (regular) health exam by a health professional preferably every 3 years, and breast self-examination every month.

In conclusion, she highlighted the need to follow a healthy diet; exercise most days of the week; abstain from smoking; eat plenty of fruits and vegetables; drink plenty of water; and eliminate or reduce consumption of red or processed meat. “These measures would reduce the risk of breast cancer and increase the chance of survival among patients,” she said.

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