Staff at the Institute for International Research Middle East (IIR ME) donned pink on Thursday 25 October 2007 in support for Breast Cancer Awareness month.IIR ME is part of the global Informa company, which has over 150 offices in more than 40 countries and employs 7,500 staff around the world. Company employees of Informa world wide wore “Pink on Purpose” to support local Breast Cancer research and awareness organisations.Employees at IIR ME were invited to wear as much or as little pink as they liked to help Safe & Sound, Burjuman’s breast cancer awareness program in the UAE, continue their goal of ‘stopping cancer before it starts’. The pink presence at the office helped gather attention to the cause.IIR Middle East raised 30,000 AED from the staff donations as well as by selling pink ribbons and pink food and drink. In addition, employees were sponsored by friends and colleagues to wear pink to work. “We are excited about the pink turn-out we got from our employees. We even had a competition among the departments for best pink decorations,” said Jessica Sutherland, General Manager of IIR ME. “Everyone had a lot of fun on the day and it really showed how much everyone cares about the cause.”According to American Cancer Society, a woman has a one out of eight chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. Here in the UAE, breast cancer is the most common cancer for women.The good news though, according to doctors at the Tawam Hospital in Abu Dhabi, is that breast cancer cases in UAE are being detected much earlier, a critical factor in successful treatment of the chronic disease. This suggests awareness is increasing and more women are looking out for tell tale signs and getting check ups.“It is important that women are more aware about breast cancer and how to catch it early on. It can make all the difference and save many women’s’ lives. By promoting breast cancer awareness, IIR ME is hoping more women will know about the symptoms and risks so that they can seek help and get a diagnosis as early as possible,” Sutherland added.
All money raised by IIR ME has gone towards Safe & Sound, one of the UAE’s Breast Cancer Awareness programmes. Safe & Sound is now in its 10th year and is dedicated to educating women in the UAE about the disease and providing simple and practical advice on ways to combat breast cancer.
For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, IIR ME and Safe & Sound are encouraging women to take charge of their own breast health by practicing regular self-breast exams, making sure to schedule an annual mammogram, adhering to prescribed treatment and knowing the facts about recurrence.