Breast cancer screening in the United Arab Emirates

Humaid O Al-Shamsi, Sadir Alrawi J Cancer Prev Curr Res . 2018;9(3):123-126.


Cancer is a major health issue around the world, in the United Arab Emirates ( UAE ) it is the 3rd leading cause of death after cardiovascular diseases and injuries, accounting for 10% of all mortalities in the UAE in 20101 and 16% of all mortalities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 2015.2 Breast cancer (BC) is the most frequent cancer in females among UAE citizens (32.16%) as well as Non- UAE citizens (41.41%).3 Females in the UAE has the tendency to develop BC at least a decade earlier than their counterparts in western countries.3–5

The UAE government has made strident efforts to promote early cancer detection through different health authorities in the UAE. The Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (The UAE’s largest health district) began to have screening programs for colorectal, breast, and cervical cancers in 2008.6 Dubai Health Authority (the second-largest health district in UAE) introduced breast, cervical, and colon cancer screening in 2014.7 In September 2015, the Ministry of Health (covering the rest of the UAE health districts) launched an official cancer screening initiative, to raise awareness about cancer and about the importance of early detection through regular medical check-ups for colorectal, breast, and cervical cancers.8,9 All the above-mentioned screening efforts were aligned with the North American and European international guidelines regarding the age of onset and the frequency of screening of different cancers, including breast cancer screening.10,11 Mammography screening every 2 years has shown the greatest mortality reduction benefit in the age group of 50–69 years, and it is recommended by the European Union and numerous individual countries.12

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