DUBAI, 4rd October, 2015 (WAM)--Zulekha Hospital, a pioneer in UAE healthcare, is spearheading a new breast cancer awareness initiative offering women free consultations and mammograms to help reduce the incidence of the disease and save lives across the Emirates.The ?Pink It Now? campaign has been developed by Zulekha Hospital with the active support of Ford Warriors in Pink, a Ford Motor Company breast cancer awareness initiative, and Dubai Islamic bank, and has be rolled out at both hospitals in Dubai and Sharjah. Zanubia Shams, CEO of Zulekha Hospital, said, "The key message of the new campaign is to encourage women to get checked regularly and remind individuals of the importance of mammograms and self-checking, and show that together we can help prevent breast cancer if the disease is identified at an early enough stage." From now until 31 December, women over the age of 40 can take advantage of free specialist consultations by Zulekha Hospital oncologists and surgeons as well as receive a free mammogram. The campaign forms part of the worldwide initiative dedicated to building awareness, educating women on breast cancer and empowering them to beat the disease. While it is more common in women over 40 years of age and those with a strong family history of the disease, breast cancer can affect women regardless of their age, ethnicity, genetics or reproductive history, which was highlighted at the official launch event by eminent doctors, cancer campaigners and breast cancer survivors. The guests of honour were: Neeta Bhushan, Deputy Chief of Mission -Embassy of India; Dr. Ahmed Ibrahim bin Kalban, CEO, Hospitals Services Sector Dubai Health Authority; Sue Nigoghossian, Ford Middle East & North Africa; Dr Pamela Munster, renowned cancer expert from the University of California in San Francisco; Dr. Hani Sbitany, assistant Professor of Surgery Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from the University of California, San Fransisco; and Zanubia Shams, CEO of Zulekha Hospital, along with leading oncology specialists from Zulekha Hospital. Dr. Kalban, said, "Breast cancer is the top cancer in women worldwide, both in developed and developing countries. We at the DHA are firmly committed to ensure we educate the public about the disease and about the importance of regular screening." Speaking at the launch event Bhushan, said, "This is a fantastic campaign and I am honoured to be here supporting this noble cause. Initiatives such as these help to re-emphasise the importance of regular check-ups and also remind women that if detected at an early stage, breast cancer can be cured." Breast cancer survivors were also in attendance sharing their inspiring stories and journeys as part of the Ford Warriors in Pink initiative. "Through Warriors in Pink, Ford continues to be a driving force in highlighting the importance of early detection and its role in saving lives," said Sue Nigoghossian, General Manager of Communications at Ford Middle East and North Africa. "Since 2010, the Warriors in Pink campaign in the Middle East has honoured and recognised the strength and courage of many women who have fought the disease and shared their stories to inspire others. We are pleased with our partnership with Zulekha Hospitals in this effort." Dr. Pamela Munster, a professor at the Department of Medicine (Haematology/Oncology) and Director of Early Drug Development and Breast Cancer officially launched the new ?Pink It Now? campaign at an invitation-only event today at the Conrad Hotel, alongside her colleague Dr. Hani Sbitany, Assistant Professor of Surgery Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from the University of California in San Francisco. Dr. Munster said, "Breast cancer is something which affects so many women. The key to preventing the risk of breast cancer is through regular check-ups as the disease can be cured if diagnosed early. It is important, therefore, that these kinds of campaigns encourage women to take the necessary steps towards early detection." The long-term goal of the campaign is to build awareness, educate women on breast cancer and empower them to beat the disease. Zulekha Hospital is strengthening its capability to treat patients suffering from cancer in Dubai and the Northern Emirates through the construction of an AED 250 million centre for advanced specialised oncology treatment. Staffed by specialists including radiation oncologists, physicists, and radiation therapists and managed as a centre of excellence for cancer care and research, the new Dubai facility is scheduled to open in early 2017. As part of the campaign, Zulekha Hospital has also launched a selfie competition for the month of October to encourage individuals to support breast cancer awareness month.
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