(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) More than 600 women turned up for check-ups organised last month by the National Association for Cancer Awareness (NACA) to mark the breast cancer awareness month which is observed every year in October. Among the 600 screened, two women were found to be in advanced stages of the disease and were referred for treatment. Women of various nationalities turned up at NACA's mobile mammography unit at the association's Azaiba premises for the examinations daily which would begin at 7.30am. About the programme, Yuthar al Rawahy, the NACA chairperson, said, ''We are delighted to cater to so many women during the month. Though the response was great, we had a larger number last year when there were more than 1,000 women. The reason for this was the location (of the unit), which was at Qurum City Centre. This year, all programmes were held at our centre. There were lectures, workshops and first-hand accounts of cancer survivors.'' The only eligibility for a check-up was that women had to be more than 40 years old. ''After the age of 40, women become vulnerable to such problems. We had women not only from different nationalities but also from different backgrounds and social status. We even had men who brought their housemaids and sponsors who brought their female employees.''The mammography unit will be closed during November and will resume screenings in December. From January, the unit will tour the country's interiors. ''There are women who don't have the privilege or facilities to come to the city for screening. Hence we have decided to take our unit to villages and wilayats. I must add that we don't do diagnosis; we merely do the screening and if there is a problem we immediately refer the woman to the right specialist. The problem is that most are unaware of the disease,'' Yuthar added.To give a boost to the breast cancer awareness initiative in the country, NACA also conducted its ninth annual awareness walkathon on October 16 at Midan al Fateh, Wattayah. The theme this year was Beat your feet for cancer defeat.'