Advanced stage breast cancer burden to Middle East women
Breast cancer remains the most feared disease of women around the world. Heightened awareness of breast cancer risk in the past decades has led to an increase in the number of women undergoing mammography for early detection with a resultant improvement in survival rates. Still, breast cancer is the most common cause of death in women between the ages of 45 and 55.
“80 per cent of women who develop breast cancer in the Middle East are found to be at an advanced stage where treatment is much more difficult and the chance of cure is very low,” says Dr Nagi F. Khouri, MD, Associate Professor of Radiology and Oncology and Director of the Division of Breast Imaging at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, USA, who will be speaking at the "Current Concepts in Modern Breast Healthcare " Conference being held during the Middle East Obs-Gyne Congress, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, on February 14 and 15, 2010.
For the second year, the Obs-Gyne Exhibition & Congress, organised by IIR Middle East Life Sciences Division, will run a specialised Middle East Breast Cancer Conference accredited by the Cleveland Clinic and under the medical supervision of Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.
“Through a series of measures consisting of increasing breast cancer awareness in the general population and among health care professionals, focusing on early detection through high-quality screening mammography with the proper centers for diagnosis and treatment, the percentage of women developing breast cancer found to be at an advanced stage can drop to 20 pre cent as it has been seen in many countries in the world,” says Dr Khouri. “In addition, breast cancer in the Middle East shows some additional different features from breast cancer in the Western world, such as a significant higher incidence in women under the age of 40 that is not explained and requires further research.”
This is the challenge that the women of the Middle East face, continues Dr Khouri. The opportunity is here now, to help reduce the burden of breast cancer among these women through a multidisciplinary approach to patient education, screening, diagnosis and treatment.
Over the past few years several initiatives have been taken in the region to enhance the awareness about breast cancer. This includes developing the centers for diagnosis and treatment, building grassroots advocacy support, improving the training of the health care professionals and enhancing women's empowerment.
Partnerships have been set up between various countries from the Middle East such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and outside institutions leading the fight against breast cancer such as the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer movement, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Dr Khouri believes that the conference will be of interest to all healthcare professionals involved with breast cancer, from primary care physicians to gynecologists, surgeons, radiologists, medical and radiation oncologists as well as nurses and other healthcare professionals.
“During the "Current Concepts in Modern Breast Healthcare” Conference four senior members of the faculty of the multidisciplinary breast cancer group at Hopkins will present a variety of talks on breast cancer,” says Dr Khouri. “Topics included cover a wide spectrum such as genetic and nongenetic risk factors for breast cancer, digital mammography, role of ultrasound and MRI in the breast, sentinel lymph node and lymph node dissection, and role of radiation therapy. Patient navigation will be discussed as well as issues in organising a patient-focused breast cancer care program. This type of multidisciplinary breast cancer course educates the physicians and healthcare professionals about what is happening in each of the specialties dealing with breast cancer as well as familiarising the audience with the components of a Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program.”
Running alongside the congress is an exhibition that offers a platform to present the latest technologies and product launches from manufacturers and distributors to a highly specialised audience including gynecologists, nurses, obstetricians, oncologists, sonographers and surgeons amongst others. Products exhibited include ultrasound diagnostics equipment, scanners, sensors, cryosurgery instrument, and prescription and non-prescription medicine.
The OBS-GYNE Exhibition & Congress will run from 14 to 16 February 2010 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. For more information about this event, please call +971 (0)4 4072 743 or visit www.obs-gyne.com.