The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), a provider of a wide range of primary healthcare services across the State of Qatar and lead implementing corporation of the Breast and Bowel Cancer Screening Program, has reiterated its call for both men and women aged 50 years and older to undergo bowel cancer screening. At the same time, it has also encouraged women aged 45 years and older to submit themselves for breast cancer screening.
Data from Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health indicated that breast and bowel were among the top malignant primary sites of cancer in Qatar. The ages of 45 and above showed the highest incidence of breast cancer in women, while the age group of 50 and more showed the highest incidence of bowel cancer in both men and women.
PHCC is in the process of organizing a national database that will allow to actively invite nationals and residents who are eligible based on age criteria and schedule them for screening. To efficiently facilitate both cancer screening procedures, PHCC requests patients, within the specified age range, to set up an appointment by calling the Cancer Screening Call Center 800 1112. The PHCC-led initiative is population-based screening conducted through a proper call and recall system.
“PHCC aims to efficiently implement its mandate of promoting the health and well-being of the citizens and residents of Qatar through our life-saving cancer screening procedures,” said Dr. Mariam Ali Abdulmalik, Managing Director of PHCC. “In doing so, we have, together with our partners from the private sector, set up a patient-friendly process that will enable us to effectively provide cancer screening procedures as well as the required referrals and treatment as needed.
“In order to accommodate all patients and have them come to our cancer screening centers at a time and date that is most convenient for them, we will be proactively reaching out to them. We encourage them as well to call our 800 1112 Call Center and set up an appointment,” she added. “PHCC genuinely cares for the welfare of our patients and would not want them to have to wait in long queues. Thus, it will be to their benefit that we entertain patients who have already set up their appointments.”
Accordingly, for both breast and bowel cancer screening, calls will be made to the target group and appointments will be scheduled.
For breast cancer screening patients, appointments will be given for Mammography screening at the Breast and Bowel Screening Center. It is highly advised that patients arrive 30 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment in Al Wakra Health Center, one of the two main sites for breast cancer screening.
For bowel cancer screening, an appointment will be scheduled by the ‘Screen for Life’ program’s 800 1112 Call Center professionals. At the Center, an initial assessment will be conducted by a trained medical staff and the patient will be given a FIT kit to take home with the proper instruction. The FIT kit with sample specimen should be returned as soon as possible to the Breast & Bowel Screening Center or to any of the listed health centers. Results will be provided by a physician and, if necessary, a referral to HMC for colonoscopy examination.
Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health recommends breast cancer screening every three years and bowel cancer screening every year.