Dialysis patients currently undergoing treatment at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) Fahad Bin Jassim Kidney Centre were screened for breast cancer during a two-day screening drive, an annual event for HMC and the National Breast and Bowel Cancer Screening Programme ‘Screen for Life’ under the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC). The event 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, to encourage women to undergo screenings by making the service more accessible to them, says Dr Fadwa Al Ali, Director of HMC’s Dialysis Services.
She said that most female dialysis patients receive treatment at the Fahad Bin Jassim Kidney Centre three to four days per week, an opportune time to offer the mammogram service.
Screening services were made available last month at the PHCC specialised mobile screening unit, which has played a crucial role in the ‘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.
PHCC Cancer Programme Manager Dr Shaikha Abu Shaikha said that the mobile screening unit has been invaluable in their effort to provide access to crucial free breast cancer screenings to women in Qatar while also raising awareness of the importance of breast cancer screening.
She added that the ongoing collaboration between PHCC and HMC allows both organisations 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% when diagnosed at an early stage and the survival rate for bowel cancer can be up to 90% if detected early.