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Survey Reveals Gaps in Mammogram Screenings among Women Over 40

According to SSMC, roughly a third of women over the age of 40 in the UAE claim to never having had a standard mammography screening.

A recent survey conducted by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC) has exposed concerning trends, with nearly a third of women over 40 in the UAE admitting to never having undergone a routine mammogram screening. 

The survey aimed to gauge breast cancer awareness and attitudes toward regular screening among women in the country.

The Survey’s Scope and Sample:

The survey included more than 400 women over 40 residing in the UAE. Its findings shed light on the gaps in the region’s breast cancer awareness and screening practices.

The survey revealed that approximately 88 percent wanted more control over their health and well-being. 

However, only 66 percent reported undergoing all the recommended routine check-ups as suggested by their doctors.

Delayed Decision-Making:

Strikingly, nearly a third of the women surveyed (34 percent) admitted never booking a mammogram, which rose to 46 percent in Sharjah. 

Moreover, for nearly half of the respondents, booking a mammogram often took months, in stark contrast to the promptness with which they attended other lifestyle appointments.

Urgent Need for Course Correction:

Dr. Aisha Alsalami, a consultant medical oncologist at SSMC, emphasized the need for an urgent course correction, as the survey results revealed a contradiction between people’s health aspirations and their actual attitudes toward screenings. 

Early detection through regular check-ups is essential, as it can significantly increase the chances of survival and the effectiveness of treatment.

Prevalence of Breast Cancer in the UAE:

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the UAE, accounting for almost half of all diagnosed cancers. 

Notably, around half of breast cancer cases develop in women with no identifiable breast cancer risk factors other than their age, typically over 40 years old. Early detection can lead to a survival rate of up to 98 percent.

SSMC has recognized the barriers to early diagnosis and is taking steps to address them. It now boasts a dedicated all-female team to enhance patient comfort during tests and screenings. 

The hospital also offers state-of-the-art diagnostic technologies, including AI-powered pathology, for more accurate diagnoses and advanced radio oncology equipment to improve treatment outcomes.

Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign:

Throughout October, SSMC runs the ‘Your Health Deserves’ breast cancer awareness campaign to promote early detection and encourage regular screening for women over 40 to facilitate earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Commitment to Healthcare Excellence:

SSMC, a partnership between Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) and Mayo Clinic, is one of the UAE’s largest hospitals for serious and complex care. 

It emphasizes health literacy, innovative medical expertise, and patient-centered care, particularly in addressing prevalent diseases like breast cancer.

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