The mobile screening unit of ‘Screen For Life’, Qatar’s National Breast and Bowel Cancer Screening programme operated by the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), has been on site at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Fahad Bin Jassim Kidney Centre providing free mammogram test (breast cancer screening) to dialysis patients.
The screening event ran from January 26-29 with 29 dialysis patients who pre-booked using the state-of-the-art mobile facility to screen against the disease in advance of their scheduled dialysis sessions.
This is the third time the mobile unit, which is equipped to screen for breast cancer, visited the Fahad Bin Jassim Centre. The unit first visited in 2016 and returned a year later. “In our third visit we were able to offer the breast cancer screening again for the ladies who first underwent mammograms in 2016,” explained Dr Shaikha Abu Shaikha, manager of Screening Programmes at PHCC.
“This underlines the importance of women repeating screening every three years whether or not they have any symptoms or concerns. As the body and circumstances change, women should never think that a single normal screening result would mean they are free of the disease for life.” Apart from providing screening in a safe, professional and private environment, the mobile unit also allows ladies who are wheelchair-bound to access the screening facility via an inbuilt wheelchair-enabled lift.
Screen for Life offers free mammograms to women in Qatar aged between 45-69 who are encouraged to embrace the screening as early detection of breast cancer is key to almost 100% successful treatment and recovery. Screening for the dialysis patients was carefully scheduled to ensure they did not have to repeat trips to the centre.
“As the women already have to attend the kidney centre three to four days a week based on their individual dialysis requirements, we wanted them to be able to benefit from the screening opportunity without having to make any repeated visits,” explained Dr Fadwa al-Ali, senior consultant nephrologist, and director of HMC’s Ambulatory End Stage Renal Disease and Dialysis Services.