Pink Caravan webinar discusses vital role of family
in supporting breast cancer patients
Five-webinar series by UAE’s leading campaign will promote the message of prevention and early detection throughout the International Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Sharjah, October 15, 2020
The Pink Caravan, a pan-UAE breast cancer awareness initiative of the UAE-based non-profit, Friends Of Cancer Patients (FOCP), is taking forward its educational messaging agenda with five expert-led discussions in three languages this month to raise community awareness on key issues surrounding breast health and breast cancer.
On Tuesday, 6 October, Pink Caravan kicked off its first webinar session marking the international Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a session titled ‘Family Role in Supporting Breast Cancer Patients’ led by Dr. Jacqueline Maria Dias, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Nursing College of Health Science, University of Sharjah.
Stating that the diagnosis of breast cancer forces the individual redefine his/her priorities, Dr. Dias outlined that the crucial support a family provides during an individual’s journey with the disease and its treatment will have a great impact on their psychological and social wellbeing.
From breaking the news of diagnosis to helping the individual cope through the stages of anger, denial, and acceptance, to deciding on the form of therapy and tackling the financial burden of the treatment, it is the family’s shared sense of commitment, their emotional responses, and open communication that can greatly alleviate the distress of the patient, she said. “Diagnosis of cancer changes lives of all members of the family; and as health professionals, we must take heed of their ability to adapt to changing circumstances, and provide the support required with the right information and guidance to enhance coping.”
“It can be a dark world if the patient has to go through the cancer journey alone; which is why support groups and volunteer services offered by organisations like FOCP can help patients cope with the emotional aspects of cancer and embrace the uncertainty and vulnerabilities of living with the disease,” she added.
According to official statistics, breast cancer is one the most common cancer in women worldwide with 1.38 million new cases every year, and around 500,000 deaths annually, said Dr. Dias. “Yet, 98 per cent of cases are curable if detected early. As preventative care and early diagnoses assumes greater importance, the vital role of organisations like the Pink Caravan and Friends Of Cancer Patients in raising community awareness, specifically about the importance of self-breast exams or dispelling the many myths and stigma attached to the disease, and conducting early detection campaigns, are having a tremendous impact on breast cancer control in the UAE.”
Early detection of breast cancer is important, reiterated Dr. Dias, as it improves chances of survival, offers the best chance of effective treatment, and leads to better quality of life.
Pink Caravan’s upcoming breast cancer awareness webinars
October 13, 5pm: Dr. Lamis Khalil, Specialist Obstetrician & Gynecologist, delivered a session in Arabic titled ‘Stay Safe and Get Checked’.
October 19, 5pm: In collaboration with Zulekha Hospital, Dr. Humera Bint Raees, Specialist Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, will lead the discussion in Urdu on ‘Breast Cancer and the Importance of Early Detection’.
October 22, 5pm: In collaboration with Zulekha Hospital, Dr. Soha Abdelbaky, Specialist Oncologist, will host a session in Urdu on ‘Breast Cancer and the Importance of Early Detection’.
October 27, 5pm: Dr. Evelyne Nelly RUF, GP, IBCLC, will educate the audience on ‘Breast Feeding and Maternal Health’ and the discussion will be in English.