The Ministry of Health (MoH) has set up centers in two prominent malls in Riyadh to help women undergo the preliminary test to detect breast cancer.
Dr. Fatina Al-Tahan, director of the National Breast Cancer Screening Program at the ministry, said here that it is a pioneering venture undertaken by the ministry in cooperation with the private sector.
The clinic, supervised by the program, is the first of its kind in the Eastern Mediterranean region and in the world, according to a World Health Organization evaluation.
The clinics are located at the Hayat Mall at the Al-Waroud Quarter and Panorama Mall on the Takhasusi Road in Riyadh, Al-Tahan said.
During the holy month, the clinic will remain open from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Other days, it is 4 p.m. -10 p.m.
The director recalled that the Early Detection of Breast Cancer Program, which was launched in 2014 with the support of the private sector, has been successful in achieving its aspirations. He said the clinic which conducts mammograms on women, will also provide other clinical tests for visitors. These tests are meant to diagnose osteoporosis, which is common among Saudi women, and check for high blood pressure, blood sugar and obesity.
She said the services are offered free-of-charge and the medics and paramedics stationed at these two clinics are well trained and have gained overseas experience in dealing with such patients.
Al-Tahan also said the two clinics are equipped with state-of-the art equipment, which provides accurate test results.
She also said that her department has been doing its best to create awareness among women about the importance of early detection of breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among the cancer diseases after lung cancer. Around 50 to 70 percent cases are detected late in the Kingdom, and early detection provides a 97 percent of chance for complete recovery.
There were 1.67 million breast cancer patients in the world in 2012 and it is expected to be trebled by the year 2030. A senior MoH official advised that mammograms would help women detect any changes in their breasts. He also told women to take physical exercises daily for a period of 30 minutes to keep them fit and healthy. “Taking hormone treatment after menopause, consuming fatty foods and getting stressed unnecessarily are factors that contribute to ill-health.”
In some cases, however, the first sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast that you or your doctor can feel. A lump that is painless, hard, and has uneven edges is more likely to be cancer. But sometimes cancers can be tender, soft, and rounded. So it’s important to have anything unusual checked by your doctor.
By Mohammed Rasooldeen
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