Abu Dhabi: The first breast cancer bank account has been established to facilitate donations and to help combat breast cancer, the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) announced on Wednesday.

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in much of the developed world, with one in eight women developing breast cancer during their lifetime. 

In the UAE, 87 per cent of breast cancer cases occur after the age of 40.

An agreement between the HAAD and the UAE Red Crescent (RC) was signed to receive donations from organisations and members of the public to help combat the spread of breast cancer through a designated bank account at Dubai Islamic bank. 

Donations to the account will go towards supporting women with breast cancer. It will also be used to assist community needs with regards to breast cancer services, research and funding breast cancer support groups.

Engineer Zaid Al Siksek, CEO of the HAAD said the breast cancer program was set up “to increase screening and reduce breast cancer mortality in 2007. The signing of today’s collaboration agreement serves as a strong indicator of the campaigns growth and success across the Emirate."

During the October Breast Cancer Awareness month in 2010, HAAD in collaboration with over 30 government and non-government entities, launched a breast health awareness campaign in the UAE, including Pink-A-Thon in Yas Island, 2nd Walk for Life in Madinat Zayed,  4th Fun Run in Al Ain and Pink October Finale at Zayed Sports City.

Dr. Jalaa Taher, Senior Program Manager for Breast Cancer program at HAAD said: "The outcome of these activities resulted in a huge rise in the number of mammogram screenings during October with a total of 2,269- an increase of 500 per cent on the months preceding. Total visitors to the HAAD website www.simplycheck.ae reached 25, 926 in October alone, a 700 per cent increase on the months before. Early detection of breast cancer results in complete cure in 98 per cent of the cases and averts women the side effects of intensive treatment."

Mohammad Khalifa Al Qamzi; General Secretary for UAE RC said: "For its part, the Red Crescent Authority UAE works to provide help and assistance to people in need of relief, education and treatment; which at this time is targeting breast cancer. Our RC national authority has introduced a breast cancer mobile clinic to travel for the first time to remote areas such as Delma Island for the first time, where breast cancer screenings have never been done, and women are not even aware of the self examination. We have so far visited 1,500 females and distributed 2,000 breast cancer brochures in Al Ain and Ras Al Khaimah."

The RC has set up a medical camp in Delma island and in certain areas in the Northern Emirates where they offer tips on breast cancer prevention. A second mobile clinic for breast cancer will be introduced by the RC by next year, confirmed Al Qazmi.

How to donate

For those who wish to donate to breast cancer patients, you may do so through placing your donations into the following Dubai Islamic Bank account: Red Crescent UAE: 003520572169501.

Fact file

  • Approximately 160 women develop breast cancer every year in Abu Dhabi.
  • 87 per cent of breast cancer cases occur after the age of 40 in the UAE
  • Most of these women are in the age range 45-54
  • 80 per cent of breast lumps are benign (non-cancerous)
  • 80 per cent of all cancerous lumps are found by women themselves