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Why you should get checked for breast cancer

The C word is scary for us all, but research has shown that early testing is crucial for successful treatment.

 

 

Doctor breast cancer testing

 

 

1. Breast cancer is rising in the Middle East

There are more cancer cases reported in the region than ever before, and among women, breast cancer is the highest occurring type. There were over 18.1 million cases reported globally in 2018, and breast cancer accounts for 21% to 43% of all female cancers in the region, with numbers varying from country to country. In the UAE, that figure currently sits at 22% according to research by IARC Global Cancer Observatory. In Saudi Arabia, according to figures quoted in a report by Zainab Taha and Sakina E. Elthom incidences rose from 23% to over 47% in the period between 2000 and 2007, while studies in Kuwait have shown that the type common in the country is especially aggressive.

 

2. Lifestyle plays a role

Alarmingly, research has shown that breast cancer is likely to occur a decade earlier in the Arab region than in the West. Here, the disease appears to affect women under 50. Genetic factors cannot be ruled out, but lifestyle play a role, particularly obesity which is on the rise. As people move away from traditional, healthier diets to more processed food, it is not surprising that issues like this crop up more often. Stress is also a big factor.

 

3. Cultural factors matter

Women in general are less likely to seek help for health issues. In the Arab region as in other conservative Asian cultures, they’re even more likely to delay checking or testing. Studies conducted with regard to the GCC report a high number of late incidences – simply put, women seeking medical attention at later stages.

 

4. Early detection helps 

As mentioned earlier, the word cancer is scary, but the best thing about breast cancer is how treatable it is if detected early. Mammograms have increased survival rate by 30% for women over 50. They key is to catch the cancer while it is still small and before it metastasizes to any other part of the body.

 

So ladies, make it a point to get yourself tested. You owe it to yourself and your family.