Breast cancer in Abu Dhabi emirate
15.9% of all cancer cases among men and women are breast cancer
44% of cancer cases diagnosed in women are breast cancer
170 women are diagnosed annually
11.6% of cancer deaths in Abu Dhabi are from breast cancer (leading cause of cancer death in women)
45-54 years is the age at which most women are diagnosed with breast cancer
98% of those with breast cancer can survive if the cancer is detected early
80% of breast lumps are benign
80% of all cancerous lumps are found by women themselves
35 years or more: If this was your age when you had your first child, you have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
12 years or younger: If you had your first period at this age, you have a higher risk of breast cancer.
55 years or more: If you experience menopause at this age, you have a higher risk of breast cancer.
3 years: Gap between every clinical breast exam for women aged 20-39 without a family history of cancer.
1 year: Gap between every clinical breast exam for women aged 40 and older without a family history of cancer.
2 years: Gap between every mammogram for women aged 40 years and older without a family history of cancer.
Breast cancer deaths rates have declined from 8.7 per 100,000 women in 2009 to five per 100,000 women in 2014, with late detection of the disease going down from 64 per cent in 2009 to 16 per cent in 2013.
Messages to UAE women from experts
Dr Nehad Al Bastaki, specialist radiologist at NMC Royal Hospital in Abu Dhabi
“Breast cancer deaths have decreased by more than one-third over the past three decades around the world, and this is encouraging. The decrease is, partly, due to an increase in awareness around the importance of regular screenings, offering early detection, as well as improved treatment methods for breast cancer. Remember, early detection and treatment of the disease improves chances of survival because the breast tumour can be removed before it has a chance to spread.”
Dr Norbert Dreier, oncology consultant at Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi
“In spite of enjoying a higher standard of living, women in the UAE still consider breast cancer a taboo subject because they view mastectomy as disfiguring of the female physique. If detected early there is no need for the complete removal of the breast, rather only the tumour is removed (lumpectomy). We advise women to start becoming more proactive about their health. If detected at stage 1, the chances of survival are between 95 to 100 per cent. The chances of survival reduce to 86 per cent if detected at stage 2, and becomes 57 per cent only at stage 3.”
Dr Haytham Al Salhat, chief of surgical oncology at Al Noor Hospital and chair of surgery at Al Noor Hospital Group
“The treatment of breast cancer today is very well established and there are multiple types of treatment methods that may not even require breast removal. Even this removal has advanced so much that reconstructive surgery is easily viable. In summary, breast cancer today is a treatable disease. What patients can do, however, is seek help immediately once they notice a lump, because in very early stages, treatment may not even involve chemotherapy.”