Sherif Afifi, Health Expert at Bupa Arabia
Breast cancer is most commonly found in developed and developing countries. In Saudi Arabia according to the National Registry, breast cancer ranks first among cancers,with an incidence rate of 24 percent, followed by thyroid and colon cancer.
“There are two reasons for concern in Saudi Arabia. Other than the high breast cancer rate, obesity is one of the conditions linked to causing breast cancer. With 70 percent of the Saudi population classified as obese by the Saudi Diabetes and Endocrinology Societythere is a need for greater awareness,” said Dr. Sherif Afifi, Health Expert at Bupa Arabia. “We are determined to share the medical expertise employed by Bupa Arabia with our members and society to raise awareness and attract their attention to health issues that are of concern to everybody.”
Afifi added: “The precise reasons why women develop breast cancer are still unknown, but are thought to be a combination of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors. Early detection can prevent the worst. That’s why regular screening and self examination for lumps in the breast area can lower the risk of breast cancer.”
There are certain risk factors that are associated with the increased likelihood of breast cancer. Women with a significant family history of breast cancer should regularly be examined for breast cancer. A high probability of breast cancer was detected among women with no children or women who have their first child later in life. Women who breast feed are less likely to get breast cancer, lowering the risk for every year of feeding and for each child born and fed. Further, women who startedtheir periods early or who are going through their menopause late were among the risk groups.
Examining the breast area for lumps is crucial and regular breast cancer screening isrecommended.Ultrasound and mammogram are two of the most common techniques to check for lumps. In cases where a lump is suspected tissue sampleswill beexamined forcancerous cells.
Breast cancer treatment depends on how far the tumour has spread. Other conditions considered during cancer treatment are secondary cancer, the type of the breast cancer, menopause and menstrual status as well as the fitness and wellbeing of the patient.
Most women with breast cancer don't need to have a breast removed. However, in cases where a big tumour has developed a surgery might be necessary. In a procedure known as a ‘lumpectomy', only the cancerous lump is removed.
There is a risk that cells may break away from a breast tumour and spread to another part of the body. Often they die out or remain inactive, but sometimes they start to divide and form a new, secondary tumour, which may develop years later.
Bupa Arabia, the first specialized medical insurance provider in the Kingdom, full fills its promise to be the healthcare partner for life through medical expertise provided by its doctors and health experts.
Bupa Arabia recently offered complimentary breast cancer screening for its valued members. The program called Cancer Safe focuses on effective cancer prevention and aims to provide members assurance through its medical expertise.
Bupa Arabia members benefit from the insurance company’s helpline that operates 24 hours 7 days a week. They also can seek advice and assistance from the Doctor on the Phone service or Bupa Arabia’s website www.bupa.com.sa. As the first specialized medical insurer, Bupa Arabia is known for offering more assurance by continuously improving the customer services experience for its members as well as the public.