Main image courtesy of phoenixsun.co.za
“A group of diseases that cause cells in the body to change and spread out of control. Most types of cancer cells eventually form a lump or mass called a tumour, and are named after the part of the body where the tumour originates.” This is a painful description that we came across in a report by the American Cancer Society to explain the definition of the deadly disease. It seems that, nowadays, every organ is exposed and has a chance to be affected by cancer, especially Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, the most common type of breast cancer. On a more cheerful note, every day, a step is taken towards attempting to cure breast cancer, and that starts with early detection.
Last April, we published an article when a 3-stage initiative was announced to conduct free oncological screenings in July to test 28 million Egyptian women, as part of the national campaign, 100 Million Se7a. According to a statement issued by the National Program for Women’s Health at the Ministry of Health, 12 mobile clinics would be available for early detection of breast cancer with qualified medical teams to examine and register patients and provide full awareness to women. Thankfully, Egypt Today kept the public updated month by month.
In a follow-up meeting with Prime Minister, Mustafa Madbouli, the Minister of Health, Hala Zayed, stated, “Breast cancer early detection and treatment will be implemented for women over 18 years of age starting July 1.” A month later, preparations started for the screening centres across nine governorates for the first stage: Alexandria, Port Said, Matrouh, Qalyubia, Beheira, Assiut, Fayoum, South Sinai and Damietta.
Then, in less than three months since the announcement, the day finally came! A lot more details were revealed as well. Firstly, each stage of the 3-stage project will last for two months, while the first phase is set to continue until August 30, according to Egypt Today. The second phase will directly follow from September 1 until October 30, encompassing additional governorates, such as Cairo, North Sinai, Red Sea, Ismailia, Suez, Kafr El-Sheikh, Menoufia, Beni Suef, Sohag, Luxor, and Aswan. Finally, the third stage will be implemented in Giza, the New Valley, Gharbia, Dakahlia, Sharqia, Minya and Qena.
It is worth mentioning that Health Minister Hala Zayed said that breast cancer is the second highest cause of death among Egyptian women and that women should stay away from smoking and alcohol (especially during breastfeeding), maintain a healthy weight, and increase their intake of fruits and vegetables.