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Pink Caravan announces Dispeling Myths as central theme for 2014 edition of horseback ride  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN Press - 13/01/2014
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(MENAFN Press) Pink Caravan, the pan-UAE breast cancer awareness initiative by the Friends of Cancer Patients charitable society (FoCP) has announced the theme for their upcoming awareness campaign to once again be 'Dispelling Myths' as it is the first step to early cancer detection

With 22,877 patients having been screened ever since the initiative was launched in 2011, Pink Caravan continues its mission to contain breast cancer that statistics suggest has been the second largest factor behind mortality in women in UAE

The 2014 Pink Caravan ride would also use heightened awareness to nip myths in the bud surrounding breast cancer “ a strategy that has paid many dividends during the previous edition of the initiative

Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, Secretary General for Friends of Cancer Patients charitable society (FoCP) and Head of the Pink Caravan's Medical and Awareness committee, said, "We seek to debunk myths in the minds of both women and men across the Emirates through a multi-pronged approach. Our riders, joined by both local and resident doctors, will be taking the message across to people, even in far-flung areas of the UAE. Moreover, local health authorities as well as international cancer organisations in the field of cancer advocacy and mitigation will join celebrities this year in lending their expertise and support to the 11-day ride being conducted across all 7 emirates.

"There are many commonly and wrongly accepted myths, which sabotage patients' access to cancer preventive healthcare. They need to be dispelled as the first step, if any headway is to be achieved in mitigating the threat that breast cancer poses to society. 'Dispelling Myths' is also the theme for this years' World Cancer Day which will be celebrated on 4th February, founded by Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)

"For example, one of the commonly held misconceptions is we don't need to talk about cancer; second is; cancer has no signs or symptoms and nothing can be done about it if one has cancer, along with a common one about men's so-called immunity to breast cancer. However, in reality and to the contrary, we need to talk about cancer because it increases awareness. There are definite signs and symptoms of breast cancer which can help detect it in early stages and although the numbers are far lower than compared to women, men also get breast cancer," Dr Al Madhi added

The 2014 horseback ride, scheduled to take place from February 15-25, will see Pink Caravan join forces with the private sector, medical and educational institutes and health authorities in achieving its objectives. Besides addressing the social stigmas, inhibitions and myths attached to one of the world's most common cancers, Pink Riders, with mobile detection clinics in tow, will be drawing attention to and highlighting the importance of self-examination and early detection as the best defence against cancer, , which experts assert, if detected early, have an almost 98 percent chance of being contained

About Pink Caravan
The Pink Caravan is a Pan UAE breast cancer awareness initiative launched in 2011 by Friends of Cancer Patients, a UAE charitable organisation, to commemorate the occasion of their 10th anniversary celebrations. The Pink Caravan functions under the umbrella of the "KASHF" program, which is an initiative to promote awareness of the importance of the early detection of cancer. KASHF also works towards providing information and guidance to facilitate the early detection of many types of cancer, i.e. breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate, melanoma, and colon cancer. KASHF's first project is flagged through the Pink Caravan initiative which was especially designed to raise awareness around breast cancer and to encourage both women and men, residing within the United Arab Emirates, to perform self-examinations and go for regular meChdical check-ups.The initiative was launched under the patronage of HRH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah and under the directives of HH Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al-Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients charitable society (FoCP), Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer, and UICC International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration. The Pink Caravan aims to raise awareness around breast cancer early detection and screening methods, lobby for the creation of the first UAE National Cancer Registry, and raise sufficient funds to purchase and operate a state of the art mobile mammography unit. The Pink Caravan ride takes place annually, focusing across all seven emirates of the UAE, including remote and outlying areas. Over 150 experienced equine riders join forces each year, garnering support across different sectors, bringing together schools, universities, corporations, Pink Caravan ambassadors and royalty. The funds raised during this awareness campaign will ensure the availability of the latest technology and highest quality in the early screening and detection of breast cancer, making services accessible to every woman and man in the UAE.A novel and unique initiative, the Pink Caravan has garnered widespread recognition locally, regionally, and internationally. To date the Pink Caravan Ride has travelled over 900 km across the seven emirates, with over 250 riders and 200 volunteers helping to ensure its success. Lectures and presentations were delivered at more than 100 schools and more than 250 mobile medical clinics offering early breast cancer detection examinations have been set up with more than 22,877 people, including over 5,450 men, being screened. Pink caravan had recruited ambassadors from different walks of life to lobby and advocate for its mission and primarily help raise the 15 million dirhams fund.In June 2012 Pink Caravan and University Hospital Sharjah signed an MOU marking the beginning of the 'Cancer Centre of Excellence' operated early 2013 in collaboration with the Institute Gustave-Roussy (IGR), the leading European oncology centre, which will be known throughout the Gulf as the flagship referral and treatment centre of all cancers with its first phase focused on breast cancer, which is considered a major milestone for The Pink Caravan.



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