Being the only female radiologist in the university hospital, I was faced with all the breast cancer patients who are mostly presented with late stage. My dream was and still is to have a national screening program for all the females who are above 40 years of age. Till that dream become true, I had the idea of establishing the Breast Cancer Early Diagnosis committee as part of the Saudi Cancer Foundation (Eastern province) the committee was established in 2008.
In October 2009, "AL Sharqia Wardiah (Pink Eastern)" campaign was launched and I started the screening for breast cancer with a mobile mammogram which was the first mobile mammogram owned by a charity organization in the kingdom.
In 2015, as I believe that research is an important part of this work, we launch “It Doesn’t Know Later” campaign under the umbrella of the University of Dammam.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. It is a leading cause of cancer death in less developed countries and the second leading cause of cancer death in well developed, exceeded only by lung cancer.
In 2012 nearly 1.7 million people were told “you have breast cancer” it represented about 12 percent of all new cancer cases and 25 percent of all cancers in women.
• Since 2008, worldwide breast cancer incidence has increased by more than 20 percent.
Breast Cancer is a “good prognosis” tumor, the five-year relative survival rate for women diagnosed with localized breast cancer is 98.5 percent, in the regional stage 85%, and in the distant stage, the survival rate falls to 24 percent.
Why October is the Breast Cancer Awareness Month
One of the reasons October was chosen is that the first Race for the Cure was held then in 1983. Eight hundred people took part in Dallas and Texas. Today, more than a million people take part in the annual race.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Make a difference! Spread the word about mammograms – the screening test for breast cancer – can help find breast cancer early when it’s easier to treat, and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved.
Spread the good news that many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.
The World Health Organization [WHO] has suggested that two components of early detection have been shown to improve cancer mortality:
Education—to help people recognize early signs of cancer and seek prompt medical attention for symptoms.
Screening programs—to identify early cancer or pre-cancer before signs are recognizable, including mammography for breast cancer.
Saudi Arabia is a vast country extending over four-fifths of the Arabian Peninsula. It stretches from the Arabian Gulf in the east to the Red Sea in the west. It is approximately 2,149,700* square kilometers in area and is divided into 13 administrative regions. The estimated Saudi national population for
2015 was 29.897000 Of these (55.2%) males and (44.8%) females.
9.723214 are Non-Saudi population.
• Breast Cancer is the leading malignancy in Saudi females and it accounted for 28% of all newly diagnosed Female Cancers in Saudi Arabia. The mean age at diagnosis is 49 years.
• Despite the low Cancer incidence in Saudi Arabia (KSA), the country must be ready to face the challenge of foreseeable increase in Cancer burden attributed to growth and aging of population.
• Mammographic screening program would probably be cost effective considering that 14% and 50% of patients present with distant and regional stage, respectively.