Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is joining the international cancer community in recognising National Cancer Survivors Day, raising awareness of the disease and demonstrating that life after a cancer diagnosis can be inspiring. National Cancer Survivors Day is 4 June and honours those who have overcome the disease. The day also provides an opportunity to dispel the misconception that cancer is a death sentence.

According to Qatar National Cancer Registry at the Ministry of Public Health, cancer accounts for about 11.6% of all deaths in the country – a figure which is expected to grow as the population ages. However, experts contend that earlier diagnosis and intervention, due in part to awareness campaigns and the introduction of national screening services for breast and bowel cancers, is positively impacting cancer survival rates in the country.

The most common cancers diagnosed in Qatar are breast, bone marrow, colon, skin and prostate. Sandee Thompson, a 55-year-old two-time breast cancer survivor from Canada who has now lived in Qatar for five years, calls her cancer journey a learning experience.

Cancer doesn’t have to be the elephant in the room that we don’t talk about openly. We must be able to discuss cancer issues as honestly as possible and without embarrassment, if we want to remove the stigma. This is the best way to beat breast cancer. This is how we can survive it and how we should live.’

Professor Alexander Knuth, Medical Director and CEO of HMC’s National Centre for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR), said ensuring that patients receive the best possible care remains his priority.

In line with HMC’s vision of providing compassionate care to all, we always ensure our patients receive the best treatment throughout their cancer journey. In addition to ensuring that they receive high-quality physical care, we aim to ensure they receive emotional support throughout.’

Professor Alexander Knuth

Professor Knuth added that National Cancer Survivors Day is an opportunity to celebrate life after cancer, to pay tribute to local cancer survivors, and to bring attention to the ongoing challenges the survivors still face. He pointed out the opportunity to join forces and dispel myths and misconceptions about the disease that hinder efforts to prevent and reduce the number of cancer cases worldwide.

It is now time for people to know that cancer is often curable; many cancers can go away and never come back if detected early. At HMC, we are making progress every day to enable a more positive cancer outcome and ultimately to increase the cancer survival rate in Qatar and elsewhere.’

HMC also recognised World Blood Cancer Day. Held each year on 28 May, the world health day is dedicated to raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of blood cancer.

Visit the HMC website for more information about their cancer awareness campaigns.