CAIRO: The Ministry of Health is joining forces with the Scientific Office of Hoffmann-La Roche to raise awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early detection.
The agreement was announced by at an event hosted by the Women’s Health Outreach Program (WHOP) on Oct. 11 by Dorreyia Salem, WHOP director and the Minister of Health’s consultant for radiology, and Moutassem Sharaf, the country manager for Hoffmann-La Roche in Egypt.
The agreement establishes a mutual cooperation between the two entities, with the primary objective of raising public awareness of breast cancer. The cooperative agreement will involve the launch of a campaign to educate women on the importance of early detection, and to encourage regular breast cancer screening.
Salem stressed the importance of detecting breast cancer in its early stages, stating that one out of every eight women is vulnerable to breast cancer. She explained that while the exact causes of breast cancer cannot be determined, it is largely attributed to heavy weight and genetics.
“The chances of beating breast cancer — if discovered [in its] early stages — is 90 percent,” said Salem. Those chances decrease to “20 percent or 30 percent” if the breast cancer is detected by the time it’s in its third or fourth developmental stage, according to Salem.
In addition to public awareness initiatives, proposed elements of the campaign also include: mobile mammography units that provide nationwide access to screening; analyses services supported by accreditation and qualification programs for the Ministry of Health’s labs to thereby ensure compliance with global health standards; and providing the equipment and infrastructure necessary for the registration of patient data. The latter is planned to include a comprehensive record of medical activities so that a patient’s overall medical history can be accessed to best determine the true nature of the disease.
“We are very happy to join forces with Hoffmann-La Roche Egypt to fight back against [breast cancer, which] burdens the lives of thousands of women in Egypt and their families,” said Salem.
Speaking on behalf of Hoffmann-La Roche, Sharaf said, “As part of its social responsibility and commitment to the Egyptian community, it is an honor to support Egypt’s most ambitious breast cancer awareness and screening initiative.”
Sharaf also emphasized that Hoffman-La Roche’s goal is not only a commercial one, but is also a social, moral one that will allow Hoffman-La Roche to help provide medical services to the patient.
“As a global leading developer of cancer treatments — especially breast cancer — Hoffmann-La Roche will support various WHOP activities that will enable early diagnosis, including supporting the development of a central laboratory, training health care staff, and facilitating the registration of comprehensive patient data,” Sharaf added. “Our long term success is invariably tied in with the wellbeing of our society. Supporting local initiatives is not an option, but rather a responsibility that we are proud to shoulder.”