Breast cancer in Egypt: The challenges include education and detection
October 12, 2011
By Anwaar Abdalla
In 2008, breast cancer caused 458,503 deaths worldwide and is more than 100 times more common in women than men.
Helping to raise awareness, promote preventative well care and health care, and treatment and support, is World Breast Cancer Awareness month, October 2011.
While breast cancer is a global issue, in Egypt, the figure for people suffering from breast cancer is alarming. According to official statistics of the National Cancer Institute (Cairo University), breast cancer accounts for 35.1% of the cases of cancer in Egypt and is the most prevalent cancer among Egyptian women. In Egypt, the median age at diagnosis for breast cancer is ten years younger than in the United States and Europe.
According to the National Cancer Institute in Cairo, many Egyptian women fail to seek medical treatment or preventive screening, making it more difficult to treat cancers and by the time breast cancer is detected in Egypt, it is often advanced.
Challenges for Egyptian doctors treating breast cancer include late detection and the lack of awareness about the disease. To combat these challenges, several active foundations and programs are working to raise awareness of breast cancer. They are educating women about the disease, teaching women to conduct breast exams on themselves, and encouraging them to visit a doctor once a year for a medical breast exam.
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