21,795 people screened for breast cancer, Pink Caravan reveals 2011 – 2013 statistics

WAM Sharjah, Apr 26th, 2013 (WAM) — The Pink Caravan, the breast cancer awareness initiative by the Friends of Cancer Patients charitable organisation (FOCP), has released a report detailing the results of their early detection breast cancer screening programme for the period 2011 to 2013.

The report reveals that during the period of the 2013 Pink Caravan Ride, the campaign’s mobile clinics provided free early detection breast cancer testing to a total of 3,991 women and 1,029 men. This brings the combined number of screenings for the past three years to 16,345 women and 5,450 men, coming to a total of 21,795 screenings in all.

Speaking about the statistics, Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, Secretary General for Friends of Cancer Patients charitable organisation (FoCP) and Head of the Pink Caravan’s Medical and Awareness Committee, said “A point of special interest has been the increase in awareness amongst men with regards to breast cancer, as can be seen from the more than 100% increase in men opting to be screened in 2013, when compared to the 476 screenings done on men in 2012. We take this as clear evidence that the Pink Caravan has been making a real community wide impact and are very pleased to see that we have been able to remove some of the stigma that has traditionally surrounded the disease.” The report further showed a balanced demographic between Emiratis and expatriates being tested in 2013, with 2,541 Emiratis and 2,479 expatriates opting to be screened.

This brings the final figures for the three years to 7,623 Emiratis and 14,172 residents. It is however of note that the difference in numbers between these two groups has been steadily narrowing. In 2011 there were approximately three expatriates that were screened for every one Emirati. In 2012 it became three expatriates that were screened for every two Emiratis, and in 2013 the rate is very nearly one on one.

Of the individuals that took part in testing in 2013, 1,194 were referred to undergo mammograms and a further 189 were referred to undergo ultrasound imaging, bringing the total number of referrals made by the Pink Caravan’s medical teams to 6,800 mammograms and 900 ultrasounds respectively.

The Pink Caravan campaign, which runs annually under the patronage of H. H. Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council member and Ruler of Sharjah and under the directives of Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, aims to raise awareness about breast cancer and the importance of regular self-examination in combating the disease, as well as to raise funds towards acquiring a mobile 3D mammogram clinic, which will provide free tests to citizens and expatriates.