Life-saving Breast and Bowel Cancer Screening program goes online

‘Screen for Life’, the Breast and Bowel Screening program, a life-saving campaign that promotes education, awareness and early detection of cancer in Qatar, has widened the reach of its information and awareness drive with the launch of its website:

Amongst the content that can be accessed online is a highlight on the benefits of early detection of the disease, specifically through breast and bowel cancer screening procedures such as mammography and FIT (Fecal Immunochemical Test). It also contains all the information that people need to know about how and where to get screened.

The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), a provider of a wide range of primary healthcare services across the State of Qatar, is the lead implementing agency of the program. PHCC was given the authority under Qatar’s National Cancer Program, which was initiated by the Ministry of Public Health upon review of international best practices on excellent cancer care.

Titled ‘Screen For Life’, the program is in keeping with Qatar’s new wellness model of healthcare, as outlined in its National Health Strategy (NHS) 2011-2016. The National Cancer Strategy’s key recommendation 5.2 states the need for a population-based cancer screening program in Qatar.

Mariam Ali Abdulmalik, M.D., Managing Director of PHCC, said: “With the advent of smartphones and tablets that are now keeping people online 24/7, our website enables us to reach out to a wider audience and provide vital information to an increasingly tech-savvy generation. We have exerted every effort to ensure that this website contains everything people need to know about the disease, including the steps they must take in order to minimize or prevent the occurrence of the disease, and how it is possible to effectively cure and save someone’s life especially through early detection of the disease.

She added: “We are therefore optimistic that we will secure the desired positive response from the public and that people will get themselves screened for the disease.”

Other vital information contained on the campaign’s website includes the process of how people can book an appointment for screening and the contact details and location of the screening centers.

As part of the education and awareness objectives of the campaign, the website also contains key information such risk factors and possible causes of the disease and a detailed explanation about cancer screening procedures. The Ministry of Public Health recommends breast cancer screening every three years for women aged 45 years or older with no symptoms, and bowel cancer screening every year for both men and women aged 50 years or older with no symptoms.

The website has a link that enables people to give their feedback about the program, as well as a facebook and twitter button that lets people share vital information about the disease to their families and loved ones. A survey amongst patients can also be conducted by clicking on the ‘Patient Survey’.