10,000 Women Receive Breast Cancer Screenings in Saudi Arabia
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women aged 20–59 years worldwide. For Arab women, not only are they at higher risk of having more aggressive forms of breast cancer than women in the West, but they also are more likely to be afflicted at a younger age.
Complicating the issue in the region is the hesitancy to discuss or address breast cancer due to stigma, fear and misinformation associated with the disease, particularly in terms of prevention, treatment and the potential positive outcomes. As a result, nearly 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer in Saudi Arabia are already at an advanced stage by the time they visit a doctor, leading to a lower survival rate.
To help address this health issue, in 2012, GE partnered with the Saudi Ministry of Health to develop a National Breast Cancer Screening Program that featured three mobile clinics equipped with GE digital mammography and Healthcare IT capabilities, each of which is staffed by a physician, a mammographer and a receptionist. This was accompanied by a multifaceted media campaign, including an award-winning advertising campaign, and an Arabic-language breast cancer microsite as part of the healthymagination.me platform to provide information on the disease and on the program.
To date the program has screened more than 10,000 women, with 69 women diagnosed with breast cancer and currently undergoing lifesaving treatment.