File picture from a mobile screening unit during the Pink Caravan campaign earlier this year Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: In light of the International Breast Cancer Awareness Month - October - the UAE-based civil society organisation Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP), has launched its ‘Pink October’ campaign.

The campaign will be led by its breast cancer awareness and early detection initiative - Pink Caravan - and feature over 90 events and activations across the nation, throughout October. The community events will be published by Pink Caravan on its social media channels.

Free mammograms

The Pink Caravan Mobile Clinic will offer free mammograms to all women aged 40 and older. They should not be pregnant, breastfeeding, or experiencing any symptoms (as the clinic offers routine screenings, not diagnostic check ups). Also, they should not have had a mammogram for at least two years. The mammogram screenings are limited in number and will be offered on a first-come, first served basis.

Additionally, the Pink Caravan MiniVan Clinic will provide clinical breast examinations to all women aged 20 years and above who walk in, without exception, including those who are not UAE residents.

Meanwhile the non-profit’s Corporate Wellness Day programme will be delivered to companies who have paid and booked the service for their employees. FOCP will also be hosting specialised awareness sessions throughout the month, educating women about breast self-examination, the disease itself, its signs and symptoms.

Early detection

Aisha Al Mulla, director of FOCP, said: “If breast cancer was detected early, there will be more treatment options and a better chance for survival. This is the message Pink Caravan has been amplifying for the past 12 years, and this is what we are telling our beloved UAE community once again.”

Women whose breast cancer is detected at an early stage have a 93 percent or higher survival rate in the first five years, FOCP cited medical research as saying. Breast cancer is the world’s most prevalent malignancy today, and caused more than 685,000 deaths globally in 2020.

Following a partnership call FOCP’s made earlier in July for private sector companies to promote its Breast Cancer Awareness Month efforts to enable wider community outreach, leading public and private sector entities have joined forces with them to sponsor their activations and maximise their impact.

FOCP also encourages individuals and organisations to shop for a cause at their ‘Pink Shop’ online. Proceeds from all sales that they make through the ‘Pink October’ campaign will go towards funding the treatment journeys of patients that FOCP supports, in awareness creation and the moral support programmes they have designed for cancer patients and their families.

Pink October schedule

October 7: Pink Caravan’s Mobile Clinic will arrive at Festival Plaza, Dubai at 11am, to offer free screenings until 5pm. The same day, MiniVan Clinic will be at Kite Beach, 4pm-10pm.

October 8: Mobile Clinic will be stationed at the Mirdif City Centre, Dubai, 4pm-10pm.

October 10: Pink Caravan MiniVan Clinic will arrive at the Al Sharee Women and Kids Park - B, in Abu Dhabi, from 11am-2pm.

October 13, Mobile Clinic will be in Sharjah, at the Majaz Waterfront, 4pm-10pm.

October 15: Mobile Clinic will be offering free checkups at the Brands For Less Shopping Centre in Motor City Dubai from 10am-4pm.

October 19, the MiniVan Clinic will offer two hours of free clinical exams and consultations at the Shangri La Hotel in Dubai, 4-6pm.

October 27 and 28: Mobile Clinic will be offering free screenings to women at the Global Village from 5pm-10pm; MiniVan Clinic will also be stationed at Global Village.

October 28, MiniVan Clinic will be at Al Habtoor Polo Club, Dubai from 2pm-6pm.

October 29: Mobile Clinic will return to Kite Beach in Dubai, 4pm-10pm.

October 30: Mobile Clinic will be offering free screenings from 4pm-10pm at City Walk, Dubai.

*Additionally, a Pink Mobile Clinic will set up on Hudayriyat Island in Abu Dhabi on October 14 and 21, offering complimentary breast cancer screening in partnership with SEHA.