Breast cancer survivors share their stories
Women gather to share stories of their experiences and information on the latest medical treatments for breast cancer. (File/AFP)
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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and several women’s foundations and hospitals are once again doing their part to promote cancer awareness by offering various services and organizing programs that highlight the cause.
Recently, a group of breast cancer survivors gathered at a local restaurant in Jeddah to celebrate the month by sharing stories of hope and obtain information on the latest treatments.
Sara Al-Hamed, event coordinator, said that the gathering aimed at supporting and comforting the women recently diagnosed with breast cancer as well as to share their inspiring stories. “Many of them attended the event to honor a second chance at life and to discuss their experience during the treatment,” she added.
The survivors talked about their struggles such as losing hair, aggressive chemotherapy regimens and related issues. Haifa Ali, a teacher and breast cancer survivor said: “Everything becomes different; people feel awkward around you and sometimes show less support. But the awareness campaign in the Kingdom has given people more information about breast cancer and helped women to get rid of the social stigma associated with it.”
She added that the programs and activities had greatly encouraged women, giving them the strength to face the challenges of the disease and reach out for help.
Experts and health professionals in the field said that the persistent efforts of the community at large have helped raise awareness about breast cancer. Women have become more open about sharing their views on the disease. Moreover, it has helped bring down the cost of the treatment.
Another survivor, Nada Tareeq, said the breast cancer awareness campaign had brought in several support groups in the city that provided emotional support and shared information on the disease. Such groups play an important role in the recovery process following diagnosis and treatment.
“During the treatment, I lost my hair and then my appetite. I started to look pale and dull. Fighting cancer was like climbing a rocky mountain, and it seemed impossible to be cured. The support group helped me to express my feelings, which I had been too uncomfortable to share before, and to be determined to keep climbing up the frightening path,” Nada added.
Meanwhile, universities, hospitals, public sector departments, and other commercial entities are are coming up with different activities to observe the national breast cancer month and to raise awareness of the disease. Similarly, several females working in the malls and shopping centers are wearing pink ribbons to show their support.
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