Primary Health Care Corporation urges women to repeat breast cancer screening
Free screening available country-wide during Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Doha, Qatar – October 6, 2019: The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) is urging woman across Qatar to ensure they are screened for breast cancer every three years.
The call comes as the Corporation, which runs ‘Screen For Life’, Qatar’s National Breast and Bowel Cancer Screening program, has already completed three years of operation, and is now identifying women who undertook mammograms in 2016 and are now eligible to screen again. As per the national guidelines, breast cancer screening should be done every three years.
“We always make sure to explain to women that the screening must be repeated every three years,” explained Dr Shaikha Abu Shaikha, Manager of Screening Programs at PHCC. “Being screened once is not the end of the preventative care. Circumstances change and if we are to be successful, we must reinforce the message that women must repeat the screening at the three-year interval.”
Dr. Shaikha says the repeat screening message will be part of this month’s ‘Put Yourself First’ campaign which ‘Screen For Life’ is running as part of International breast cancer awareness month.
“The good news is that this month women will have more access than ever to free mammogram testing as we are taking the opportunity to sites throughout Qatar. Our mobile screening unit will tour the country, we will have sign-up opportunities in malls and at public and private sector gatherings nationwide to compliment free screening at our three main screening suites. Screening is not a one-off task – it is a lifelong undertaking, hence our campaign being named ‘Screen For Life,’” she explained.
‘Screen For Life’ is urging women of 45 years and above to take up the ‘Put Yourself First’ free mammogram opportunity. “No-one should be reluctant to use the mobile unit as it operates to the same high standard as our permanent screening suites in Al Wakra, Leabaib and Rawdat Al Khail health centres. Our staff are highly-trained and women benefit from a high level of privacy,” explained Dr. Shaikha.
During October ‘Screen For Life’ will conduct lectures, undertake training for physicians, operate a mobile screening unit and mount information booths in malls and health centers while implementing social media contests and an advertising campaign to promote the early screening message.
“Quite simply early screening can save lives and women who adopt the repeat screening cycle are setting a very positive example to younger generations,” added Dr. Shaikha.