About Breast Cancer
Cancer is a disease that causes cells in the body to change and grow out of control. Most types of cancer form a lump or mass called a tumor. Most types of tumors that form in the breast are called Benign, that is, they are not cancerous. Other types are Insitu or Invasive.
Breast Cancer begins in breast tissue which is made of glands for milk. The remainder is made up of fatty and lymphatic tissue. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, accounting for nearly one in every three cancers diagnosed. All women are at risk of getting breast cancer. As age increases, the risk increases. 2/3 of breast cancer happens in women 40 years of age and older. Men are generally at low risk of developing breast cancer.
Other risk factors include late menopause, family history of breast cancer, diets high in saturated fats, no pregnancy, estrogen replacement therapy and obesity.
Mammogram is the best method to detect breast cancer at an early stage when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. Having regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. Women aged 40 years or older should have a mammogram every two years.
Symptoms of breast cancer may include:
- One breast larger than the other
- Red or pink skin
- Swelling or rash
- Orange like texture
- Skin hot to the touch
- Pain or itchiness
- Nipple discharge
- Swollen lymph nodes under the armpits or of the nick
The chance of recovery and treatment options from breast cancer depends on the stage of the cancer, the type of the cancer, the estrogen-receptor and progesterone-receptor levels in the tumor tissue, the age, general health, menopausal status, and whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred. Different types of treatment are available for patients such as Surgery, Radiation Therapy, Chemotherapy, and Hormone therapy.
Breast Cancer Screening in Bahrain
For more than 20 years, the Bahrain Cancer Society has educated women in Bahrain about the importance of breast self-examination and the significance of early breast disease detection by mammogram.
In August 2005, the Bahrain Cancer Society, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and under the sponsorship of BATELCO, launched the NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR THE EARLY DETECTION OF BREAST DISEASE.
Objectives of the Campaign
- Detection of early breast cancer thus allowing early intervention and treatment
- Reduce breast cancer mortality and morbidity by increasing the availability of cancer education and screening
- Reduce the financial burden of breast cancer in the long run
- Promote women’s health by increasing awareness
- Must be a citizen or resident of the Kingdom of Bahrain
- Must be 40 years of age or older.
- Should not have had any breast surgery or treatment for breast cancer in the past
- Should not have had a mammogram within the previous 12 months
- Should not be pregnant
The Ministry of Health allocated 5 health centers to provide the most convenient coverage in different areas of the Kingdom. It also provided a weekly breast assessment clinic at the Salmaniya Medical Complex run by a team of specialized doctors to review reports and provide the appropriate management for the positive cases in due course. Mammograms Films are sent from all the centers to a centralized screening administration office at Dar Roufaidh. A specialized radiologist reads the films on a daily basis. Suspicious cases are referred to the breast assessment clinic at Salmaniya for additional imaging or procedure (Ultrasound, FNAC, Additional imaging, etc). Positive cases are referred to a team of surgeons for the appropriate management.
Screening is absolutely FREE OF CHARGE and is held 6 days a week at the following medical centers:
- Hamad Kanoo Medical Center (Issa Town)
- National Bank of Bahrain Medical Center (Aarad)
- Naim Medical Center (Manama)
- Al Aali Medical Center (Al Aali)
- Mohamad Jassim Kanoo Medical Center (Madinat Hamad)
All five centers are equipped with the latest Mammography machines and diagnostic equipment. These machines are tested and maintained on regular basis by highly trained engineers from the Ministry of Health. The mammogram is performed by a highly trained technician and requires only 15-20 minutes performing.
In order to assure that adequate and appropriate data are collected, a set of minimum data essentials were developed that must be collected. These include demographic, results of mammography examination and referral diagnostic evaluation, stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis and treatment information (if applicable).
For the purpose of data collection, three data collection forms were developed. These forms and any reports containing results are sent to the campaign administrative office where they are checked for completeness and accuracy.
The Bahrain Cancer Society has made it possible for all women to benefit from the screening campaign. For further information or for a mammogram appointment please call the campaign administrative office at:
17273636 or 80001818
NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR THE EARLY DETECTION OF BREAST DISEASE brochure (click here)
NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR THE EARLY DETECTION OF BREAST DISEASE sample questionnaire (click here)