Pink Caravan to offer free breast cancer screenings

The free screenings will be provided outside of the Sharjah Federal Court on January 30.

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Sharjah // Free breast cancer screenings will be provided outside the Sharjah Federal Court on Thursday when a mobile mammography unit rolls into town.

The vehicle, which will also have doctors for check-ups and further referrals, is part of the Pink Caravan, an initiative designed to raise breast-cancer awareness in the UAE.

“A major hindrance that people encounter when choosing to attend a mammography session is the distance and time required to reach a medical centre housing the facility,” said Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, secretary general for the Friends of Cancer Patients Society and head of the Pink Caravan’s Medical Awareness Committee.

“One of our goals is to help bring anti-cancer technology to people’s doorsteps.”

The society is running the initiative, which will include an 11-day horseback tour around the country starting in Sharjah on February 15.

After travelling through the Northern Emirates, the caravan will pass through Dubai and Al Ain to finish up in Abu Dhabi on February 25.

The horse caravan's theme for 2014 is "Dispelling Myths".

Pink Caravan teams have screened 22,877 people, including 5,450 men, since the drive’s launch in 2011.

“Such preventive screenings help offset the possibility of expensive hospital treatment at a later stage, if the symptoms are left undiagnosed,” Dr Al Madhi said.

Although the drive has made significant strides in raising breast-cancer awareness it is still the most common cancer in Abu Dhabi, accounting for 22 per cent of all new cancer cases last year and 41 per cent of cancer cases among women.