(MENAFN Press) Dubai, UAE: The incidence of breast cancer is on the rise in developing countries as well as developed countries, but probably for different reasons. This is according to experts at the Breast Cancer Conference, which opened today (1 April) at the Obs-Gyne Exhibition & Congress 2012 in Dubai.
According to Dr. Richard Reyes, Consultant Breast and General Surgeon, and Chair of the Breast Cancer Conference: "In developed countries, the increasing rates of obesity, hormone usage (e.g. HRT) and gene pool damage all going to contribute to the increase in cases of breast cancer. In developing countries, such as the UAE, improvements in reporting breast cancer cases may contribute to the increasing figures. The mortality is decreasing as screening programmes are finding breast cancer earlier and treatments are improving. Also, breast cancers in older women tend to be less aggressive and so, as the world's population ages, more of these milder cancers are emerging."
The lack of accurate figures for breast cancer rates in the UAE is a great problem. "There is no really robust system for recording cancer incidence in the UAE, although lots of people are trying to do this and the number of women who die is an even more difficult thing to measure," says Dr. Reyes. "Some of the problems with trying to gather this kind of data are that women often see unspecialised doctors who do not report the cancers, and women often move back to their country of origin so they are lost to follow-up."
Every woman should have a breast cancer risk assessment and calculation performed by an experienced surgeon as experts says that it is possible to reduce the risk once you have been identified to be at high risk.
"Older women are at higher risk as breast cancer is stimulated by the female hormone estrogen," explains Dr. Reyes. "Other things that will increase your baseline risk of sporadic cancers include being taller, being overweight, a lack of exercise, drinking alcohol and smoking. Genetics is another major risk factor as everyone carries the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. However if your BRCA genes are damaged “ and you carry a mutation which causes breast cancer on one of your genes - then you will have a very high risk for developing breast cancer over your lifetime."
"Studies have shown that ultrasound is very poor at screening and may miss as many as 70% of cancers of the breast. There is still a lot of debate as to whether MRI is useful. It might be in younger high risk women but it has to be interpreted with real caution. The technology that will revolutionise breast screening in the future is a PET scanner for the breast called MammiPET - made by Oncovision. This scanner has the ability to pick up cancers which are 1.4mm in size, something no other technology can do," says Dr. Reyes.
The Obs-Gyne Exhibition & Congress, organised by Informa Exhibitions in association with Arab Association of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Societies' (AAOGS), will continue on 2-3 April 2012 at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre. Other parallel conferences include Midwifery, Women's Health and Obstetrics & Gynaecology, with more than 100 international and regional experts sharing their expertise with 1,500 industry professionals.
This year, the exhibition features the latest products and technologies from 52 exhibitors from 20 countries, including a number of product launches. The Pan-European prize-winning Relaxbirth birthing system was launched to the Middle East audience for the first time at the Obs-Gyne Exhibition.
"The Middle East, as a potential market for our product and services, is of great importance to our company which is why it has been selected as the first region outside our European home market to launch the Relaxbirth innovation," says Ms. Eija Pessinen, the inventor of Relaxbirth.
Also exhibiting at the Obs-Gyne Exhibition is Breast Cancer Arabia, a UAE-based internet portal for any woman who wants breast cancer information and treatment. Run by Dr Richard Reyes, this website is free and contains in excess of 40 videos about breast cancer and its treatment.
For more information on Obs-Gyne Exhibition & Congress, please call 971 4 407 2743 or visit www.obs-gyne.com.
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