Ms. Zanubia Shams  CEO  Zulekha Healthcare GroupDubai and Sharjah facilities welcome more than 450 women for screenings and mammograms as part of breast cancer awareness initiative

Dubai, UAE, 31 October, 2015: Zulekha Hospital, a pioneer in UAE healthcare, has reported a significant increase in the number of female patients registered for screenings and mammograms as part of its new ‘Pink it Now’ breast cancer awareness initiative.

Launched at the beginning of October with the support of Ford Warriors in Pink and Dubai Islamic Bank, the campaign has encouraged more than 450 women to take advantage of the free consultation offer and make appointments at Zulekha Hospitals in Dubai and Sharjah.

“We have been inundated with calls from women across the UAE and have been extremely impressed with the turnout of patients following the launch of our campaign,” said Zanubia Shams, CEO of Zulekha Hospital. “Our intention is to create more awareness of breast cancer and encourage women to get checked regularly.  We are incredibly pleased with the success of the campaign so far and believe it will continue over the coming months.”

The key messages of the hospital’s campaign are to encourage women to arrange regular checks, remind them of the importance of mammograms and self-checking, and show that together the community can help prevent breast cancer if the disease is detected at an early enough stage.

Running until 31 December 2015, women in the UAE over the age of 40 can take advantage of free specialist consultations by Zulekha Hospital oncologists and surgeons as well as receive a free mammogram. The campaign forms part of the worldwide initiative dedicated to building awareness, educating women on breast cancer and empowering them to beat the disease.

Dr. Raja Easa Al Gurg, Managing Director of Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors & Executive Director – Dubai Authority & Board of Trustees for the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, said: “Today, more than one third of breast cancers can be prevented, yet most women are unaware that healthy lifestyle changes can reduce their risks of developing the disease.

“Genetics and family history account for just 5-10% of breast cancers.  Close to 90% are linked to other factors.  Helping women to increase their understanding of risk factors and encouraging healthy behaviours that help reduce that risk, is vital in improving the chances of preventing the disease.

“It is encouraging to see Zulekha Hospital provide women with the information and tools they need to make changes that will significantly reduce their risk of breast cancer.”

While it is more common in women over 40 years of age and those with a strong family history of the disease, breast cancer can affect women regardless of their age, ethnicity, genetics or reproductive history, a fact that was highlighted at the official launch event by eminent doctors, cancer campaigners and breast cancer survivors.  The long-term goal of the campaign is to build awareness, educate women on breast cancer and empower them to beat the disease.

Dr. Layla Mohamed Al Marzouqi, Director of DHA Health Regulation and Dubai Medical Tourism Project, said: “Awareness about breast cancer is critical for early detection and to help save lives.  Initiatives such as the ‘Pink it Now’ campaign encourage women to go for consultations and re-emphasise the importance of mammograms and early detection.”