Dubai Pink Ride for breast cancer
Image Credit: Supplied

Hundreds of cyclists and motorcyclists will take part in the Dubai Pink Ride Campaign to raise funds for underprivileged patients affected by breast cancer.

The eight edition of the event organised by Dubai Health Authority will take place on November 1 to coincide with the Dubai Fitness Challenge launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, with an aim of transforming Dubai into the most active city in the world. This year, Dubai Fitness Challenge will take place from October 18 to November 16.

Registration for the Pink Ride is free. The 16km journey will begin at Sunset Mall at 7am and will take place along Jumeirah Beach Road.

Briton Jenny Waite, 49, a Dubai-based breast cancer survivor who cycled 250 kilometres from Thailand to Cambodia to raise funds for cancer research in 2018, said initiatives like this are absolutely important to raise community awareness about the need for early screening and at the same time these initiatives help raise much-needed funds to support women battling the disease.

Waite has also written a cookbook known as In the Pink with recipes from local and international chefs and breast cancer survivors. The aim of the book is to encourage healthier eating choices.

Salim Bin Lahej, Director of the Health Fund Committee at DHA, said, “Breast cancer remains to be one of the most common cancers and early detection is essential to save lives. Early detection also helps minimise the complications patients go through. Through this campaign, we aim to raise awareness about the importance of early detection and regular screening. The funds raised will help underprivileged breast cancer patients.”

He added that the Health Fund committee regularly ties up with organisations to raise funds to treat breast cancer patients in DHA hospitals with financial difficulties.

Dr Moaza Al Bedwawi, General Surgeon at Dubai Hospital and Founder of Dubai Pink Ride, said, “According to World Cancer Research Fund, breast cancer was the most common cancer in women worldwide, contributing 25.4 per cent of the total number of new cases diagnosed in 2018. Early cancer detection is vital for a patient’s prognoses; it can help in controlling the cancer cells and can lead to minimally invasive treatment as compared to when it is detected later on.”

Dr Al Bedwawi said that if detected early, the survival rate is more than 98 per cent; however if the disease is detected in the advanced stage, survival is only 27 per cent.

She said the women should opt for regular risk-related and age-related screening. “The first mammogram should take place at 40 years of age and every year thereafter. Those with a family history of breast cancer should begin screening earlier. If a woman has a first-degree relative who was diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age, she should opt for yearly screening ten years before the age of her relative’s diagnosis. However, she should start regular self-exams earlier.”

The campaign is supported by several institutions including Dubai Sports Council, DEWA, Dubai Ambulance, Union Cooperative Society UAE, Roads and Transportation Authority (RTA), Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police and Café Peloton.

Those interested to volunteer and/or donate may contact representatives of the Health Fund office at 04 219 7474.