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Breast Cancer Afflicting More Younger Women.

Summary: DUBAI u Increasing numbers of young women are being detected with breast cancer, debunking earlier findings that women above 45 were more prone to the disease, say health officials.

Women as young as 20 and 30 have been treated at the Breast Clinic at Rashid Hospital while 25 per cent of the 200 operations done at the clinic last year were also due to cancer.

"This is a significant percentage. Previously women in their 40s and above were affected; unfortunately over the past few years we are finding an increasing number of women in their early 30s who have this disease," said Dr Moza Al Hattawi, senior health officer and member of the breast diagnosis team at the hospital.

"A few patients in their 20s have also been diagnosed," she adds.

Contrary to facts that earlier placed UAE national women on top of the list for breast cancer in the country, an increasing number of young Filipinas are being discovered with the disease, C doctors said.

"We don't know why this is happening. Probably this population is increasing in the country," said Dr Zaid Al Mazam, consultant and in-charge of the Breast Unit at the hospital.

Being a woman is reason enough to have breast cancer, says Al Hattawi. "But it is also a known fact that early detection can save lives and help reduce the number of women who succumb to this disease," she adds.

Doctors at the clinic see up to 40 patients with breast diseases thrice a week. It also offers free screening for patients who cannot afford treatment. Last year, Dh80,000 was raised C through charity.

"Up to Dh5,000 is required for a surgery and this excludes radiation and chemotherapy," says Dr Al Mazam.

"We need more so that many people can be treated," he added.

A week-long awareness educational campaign has been launched by Qadhi Saeed Al Murooshid, Director General of Dubai Health Authority.

A team of doctors will visit Dubai Festival City on October 9 and at the Mall of the Emirates on October 10 C for this purpose.

Copyright 2009 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Oct 6, 2009
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