'Mammogram truck', pictured here at Burjeel Medical City in Abu Dhabi, is offering free screenings throughout October at 15 locations Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: In a bid to create awareness about breast cancer and identify undiagnosed cases, VPS Healthcare in the UAE is organising a free mammogram screening campaign in the emirate of Abu Dhabi throughout this month.

VPS Healthcare clinicians will travel in a “mammogram truck” across the emirate as part of the ‘Pinktober’ campaign. The healthcare group has already tied up with several firms and government entities, including ADNOC, Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi Police, Abu Dhabi Municipality, First Abu Dhabi Bank, and others.

Eligible women

Women over 40 years or those belonging to the high-risk groups can undergo mammogram screening. For those below the age of 40 years, the clinical staff will perform a physical examination and educate them on examining the breast oneself.

Reaching people

Dr Humaid Al Shamsi, director of medical oncology at VPS Healthcare, said: “In the previous year, public mammogram screening opportunities were less due to the stringent COVID-19 protocol in place. Some patients had to delay their visit to the doctor, while others avoided screening over COVID-19 fears. So, this time, by relaunching the screening campaign, we at VPS Healthcare and Burjeel hospitals aim to reach out to all eligible populations and create awareness about the disease. We are thankful to the Department of Health and Ministry of Health for extending their support to make this campaign possible.”

As part of its campaign, VPS Healthcare has arranged screenings at 15 locations in Abu Dhabi. The campaign will strictly adhere to all COVID-19 protocols, VPS said.

Screening coupons

In addition, the healthcare group will distribute complimentary mammogram screening coupons to those who could not avail screenings at the locations. They may avail a free mammogram screening at any of the VPS Healthcare’s Burjeel Hospitals in Abu Dhabi. The reports of the mammogram screening will be processed at VPS hospitals and sent to those who were screened.

Creating awareness

Dr Ibrahim Abugheida, head of radiation oncology at Burjeel Medical City, said: “We aim to create awareness among the public. Breast cancer is one of the highly prevalent cancers among women in the UAE. Most people are unaware of the symptoms or ignore them. So, through our campaign, we look forward to educating people. All should be aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. It is also important to note that breast cancer can affect males as well. Being a responsible healthcare provider, we are duty-bound to serve the people and act for their benefit.”

To create awareness about the breast cancer, VPS Healthcare will continue the screening campaign in other emirates in the coming months.