Cancer News around the Gulf and the Arab Region








One-year countdown begins to the 2017 Global NCD Alliance Forum
9 December 2016, Geneva.-

The second edition of the Global NCD Alliance Forum, the most important event convening civil society organizations working on the prevention and control of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) worldwide, will take place in one year, from 9 to 11 December 2017 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Forum will be held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, and Founder and Patron of Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP), and co-hosted by the NCD Alliance and Friends of Cancer Patients.

It will bring together representatives from NCD civil society from across the world, particularly national and regional NCD alliances, building links with multilateral organizations, international NGOs, government representatives and NCD experts.
The first Global NCD Alliance Forum took place in November 2015 in Sharjah, and was the largest gathering of NCD civil society at the global level. It resulted in increased knowledge and advocacy skills, new networks and connections, as well as the landmark Sharjah Declaration on NCDs. “The second edition will build on the success of the 2015 Forum. It will serve as an interactive and dynamic platform to share lessons learnt, best practice and solutions in accelerating action on NCDs at all levels”, said José Luis Castro, Chair of NCD Alliance.

The 2015 Forum brought together NCD civil society at a pivotal moment - two months after world leaders adopted the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “The timing of the 2017 Forum will be equally important. It will provide an opportunity to mobilize the NCD community ahead of the 2018 UN High-Level Review on NCDs. We will unite around priorities for this next global milestone, and strategies to ensure we achieve meaningful outcomes for NCD prevention and control”, said Katie Dain, Executive Director of the NCD Alliance.
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Qatar Cancer Society Collaborates With Doha Bank To Raise Awareness Of Prostate Cancer

Qatar Cancer Society (QCS) has launched a sporting event in collaboration with Doha Bank as part of the campaign “Be mustache – check” to raise awareness of prostate cancer, which is the second most common cancer in men in Qatar and the world, and the fifth leading cause of deaths in men from cancer globally.

QCS is holding awareness lectures and workshops involving various sectors in the country to raise awareness of the symptoms of the disease, the factors responsible for it, as well as methods of prevention and cure. According to Dr. Hadi Mohamad Abu Rasheed, MD, Health Education, the risk of getting prostate cancer rises rapidly after the age of 50, while family history more than doubles a man’s risk of developing this disease. What’s more, men who eat a lot of red meat or high-fat dairy products and fewer fruits and vegetables are susceptible to develop prostate cancer. Obese men run a higher risk of getting more advanced and serious prostate cancer. Smoking is linked to increased risk of deaths from prostate cancer while exposures to chemicals in the workplace may also increase one’s risk. Dr. Rasheed added,

“Symptoms of prostate cancer at the early stage are hardly visible. The symptoms become visible in advanced stages. In most cases, symptoms are caused by benign prostatic enlargement, or an infection. So, it is important that you see a doctor to understand the symptoms.” Symptoms of prostate cancer include problems urinating, such as a weak or interrupted urinary flow, pain while urinating, inability to urinate, sense of incomplete emptying of the bladder, intense need to urinate, or the need to urinate more often, especially at night.


Friends of Cancer Patients launches Arabic version of Cancer Atlas at SIBF

SHARJAH, 4th November, 2016 (WAM)--The Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) has launched the Arabic version of the second edition of the Cancer Atlas in collaboration with the American Cancer Society, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).

The launch comes on the fringe of FoCP’s participation in the 35th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), currently taking place at Expo Centre Sharjah from 2nd -12th November. The Cancer Atlas collates a large variety of research and cancer data from 184 countries and combines the findings into a comprehensive guide that illustrates the global cancer landscape. It highlights non-communicable diseases in general and cancer in particular, outlining precautionary health measures that governments can take to reduce the burden of the cancer epidemic, especially in low and middle-income communities.

The Cancer Atlas also provides a comprehensive global overview of information about the psychological effects of cancer on patients and their families, associated risk factors, methods of prevention and measures of control. It also features three main chapters dealing with risk factors, burden of cancer and taking action. H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, signed the first copy of the Cancer Atlas at FoCP’s booth, in the presence of FoCP's board members, including Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani, Mohammed Al Musharrakh, Noha Safar and Dr. Shereen Habib. FoCP has prepared 500 copies of the Cancer Atlas that will be distributed to organizations and bodies that are dedicated to spreading cancer awareness locally and internationally.

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Pink Caravan Ride 2015 concludes after Free Breast Cancer Screenings for 5,000 People -
Sharjah, 25th March, 2015 -

The Pink Caravan Ride wrapped up its 10 day awareness campaign today after screening more than 5000 people across all seven Emirates in the UAE travelling a distance of 243 km. The initiative, a pan-UAE breast cancer awareness drive by the Friends of Cancer Patients charity (FoCP), has now screened approximately 35000 men and woman of all nationalities since its inception five years ago.

In its 5th year, the Pink Caravan has been honored with the participation and support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, HH Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation.

Ameera Bin Karam, President of the Board of Trustees, founding member of FoCP and Chairperson of the Higher Organizing Committee of the Pink Caravan Ride, said, "I’d like to thank all those who contributed to the success of the fifth annual ride, including partners, volunteers, sponsors, supporters, riders, doctors, nurses, media professionals and community members, whose cooperation and interaction have contributed significantly to the success of the Pink Caravan Ride and enabling it to offer examinations to over 5000 people throughout the journey." Also in attendance during this important event was Dr. Sawsan Al Madhi, Secretary General of FoCP and Dr. Khaled Ahmed Al Saleh, General Secretary of the GFFCC.

Since its inception in 2011, the Pink Caravan has sought to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer, and highlight the impact of the disease throughout the UAE. The Pink Caravan's efforts have contributed to dispelling misconceptions related to breast cancer, and providing financial and emotional support to breast cancer patients and their families. The Pink Caravan has played a significant role in reducing breast cancer’s incidence, and diminishing its progression to advanced stages through free screenings that help protect the lives of citizens and residents across the country. 

Gulf Awareness Group established and MOU with IARC -

The establishment of the Gulf Awareness Group was recently been agreed through a partnership between the Gulf Centre for Cancer Control and Prevention under the Executive Office of the Health Ministers’ Council for the GCC and the Gulf Federation for Cancer Control, a non-government organization with 16 member cancer associations in the gulf. Three meetings were already held by the Gulf Awareness Group in Riyadh, Al Hasaa and Kuwait to discuss the details of a gulf cancer campaign. It has been agreed that the first week of February (1-7) shall be observed as an Annual Cancer Awareness Week in the gulf where awareness activities will be held all over the gulf region.

The Gulf Centre for Cancer Control and Prevention also made an important announcement recently about the Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation between the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) under the World Health Organization and all the  Cancer Centers in the Gulf. This MOU will facilitate information and improve the study and research of cancer in the region.

Saudi Arabian Princess Reema Takes on Breast Cancer Awareness with more Social Media
March 14, 2015

Original article written by Lauren Johnson (edited by the GJO). During a keynote today at South by Southwest, Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al-Saud, launched a new campaign that will rely heavily on social and mobile media to spread the word. The initiative is dubbed 10KSA and is part of Zahra Breast Cancer Association, Princess Reema's fundraising organization. On Oct. 24, 2015 10KSA aims to bring 10,000 women together to form a human pink ribbon. This year's campaign builds on a similar endeavor in 2010 that broke a Guinness World Record for the most women to gather in a single location at once. In 2010, text messaging, Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and Facebook were the main ways that the movement got out the word. But a quick glance at this year's website shows that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will all be used this year. 2010 Assembly that broke a Guinness World Record   The movement this fall hopes to bring together 10,000 women, a significant step up from the 3,952 women that it attracted in 2010. And indeed, the new social platforms could give the campaign a much wider reach.   Compared to other countries, Princess Reema said that breast cancer detection is often detected later in deadlier stages, giving it a different stereotype than it has elsewhere.   "The reality that they see is they catch it at stage three and four, so all they see are women in pain, losing their hair," Princess Reema said. "What they see versus what [10KSA says are] two different realities, so how do we take this conversation of breast cancer, kick it up to be a mainstream conversation so we can get women catching themselves."   "We want to be a benchmark for how do we do an event like this or any event extremely well where we have a lasting impact—it can't be just about breaking the record," Princess Reema said.

Qatar Cancer Society launches ‘Think Again’ campaign

The Qatar Cancer Society (QCS) launched on Dec. 18, 2012 a campaign titled ‘Think Again’ to raise awareness and encourage women, especially young girls to go for vaccination against the human papillomavirus that causes cervical cancer.

The campaign is also an effort to curb the spread of the cancer, which is reportedly responsible for the death of a woman every one hour in the Middle East.

 ‘Think Again’ campaign further aims to dispel myths and misconceptions that currently surround cervical cancer and help women to make well-informed decisions about their health.

QCS chairman Dr Khalid bin Jabor al-Thani said at the press conference that Vaccination against cervical cancer virus is being encouraged from nine years in some countries where women marry early.  “Statistics show that cervical cancer is the second largest cause of female cancer mortality worldwide, accounting for the death of almost 288,000 women each year. The Middle East loses one woman every hour to cervical cancer,” he said. “For the screening and vaccination, we will be collaborating with a number of private hospitals in the country,” Dr Khalid al-Thani mentioned.

Also speaking at the press conference hosted by the Grand Hyatt Doha in support of the campaign, Obstetrics/Gynaecologist Dr Omar Abu Zainab explained that early vaccination against cervical cancer is the most effective means of preventing the disease adding that alongside regular screening, vaccination could reduce the risk of cervical cancer by up to 93%. The Grand Hyatt and QCS have partnered in organizing a ‘Run for Cure’ event earlier in October and which came on support of the global breast cancer awareness month.

FOCP discusses achievements in assisting cancer patients in UAE
Dec. 19, 2012.

Friends of Cancer Patients charity (FoCP) met on Tuesday with the heads of all health promotion charities functioning under the umbrella of the Sharjah Supreme Council for Family Affairs’ (SCFA) Health Promotion Department.  Held at the SCFA headquarters in Sharjah, the meeting aimed to provide an update on FoCP activities and its awareness campaigns, including the Pink Caravan as well as to encourage increased cooperation and collaboration between various charities operating under the SCFA.

H.E. Miss Ameera Bin Karam, president of the Board of Trustees and a founding member of the Friends of Cancer Patients charity (FoCP), delivered a presentation detailing the major milestones reached by FoCP since its establishment in 1999. She outlined FoCP’s efforts to help cancer patients in the UAE and the achievements made in this regard, in addition to FoCP’s efforts in spreading awareness among the community through well-targeted awareness campaigns.   “The achievements of FoCP to date would have been impossible without the aid and support of others such as the SCFA.”   Eman Rashid, head of Health Promotions at the SCFA, said: “The FoCP and its initiative the Pink Caravan have made tremendous efforts to promote their campaigns throughout the year with notable achievements and awards collected.”

The National Association for Cancer Awareness (NACA), Oman, go pink for October
Muscat, Oct 16, 2012.

Bin Mirza International (BMI) joined hands with the National Association for Cancer Awareness (NACA) during the month of October 2012 to help promote breast cancer awareness in the Sultanate. Specially crafted ‘pink ribbon’ cookies were created to support the cause and were sold at the Ninth Annual Cancer Awareness Walkathon. All proceeds made from the sale of the cookies will go directly to the Association.

Jannat Moosa, Marketing Director at Bin Mirza International said “The BMI family has joined the global fight against the disease by designing distinctive shirts to be worn by all our employees this month. We might not be able to find a cure, but we are able to raise awareness, reminding customers on the importance of testing and early detection. This is our way of showing solidarity and making a difference to the community we are part of.”   She added, “Our partnership with NACA is aligned with BMI’s responsibility to raise awareness on matters that concern our community.  We will continue to participate in charitable events focusing on the well-being of society through innovative activities involving staff members and our customers.”   With a deep commitment to the cause, BMI has also placed NACA donation boxes in all their outlets across Muscat.

Yemen launches cancer awareness and treatment campaign
Sanaa, July 9, 2012.

Yemen's National Cancer Control Foundation recently launched a fundraising and awareness campaign focused on cancer treatment and education regarding the disease's dangers, causes, and prevention methods.

The campaign, titled "Do not leave me to cancer", began June 28th and raised 360 million riyals ($1.7 million) during its first week, according to foundation officials.   The campaign includes arts activities and educational programmes in Sanaa and Aden, Taiz, Hodeidah, and Ibb provinces in response to the rising number of cancer cases in Yemen.   Dr. Ahmed Shamlan, the foundation's secretary-general, said the campaign will enable the foundation to care for cancer patients from various regions in Yemen for the fifth consecutive year.   "The foundation relies on these annual campaigns to raise funds and educate the community, officials and decision makers about the dangers of cancer," he told Al-Shorfa.   "Yemen has a higher number of cancer cases compared with other countries because of harmful practices such as smoking, as the majority of Yemenis are smokers," Shamlan said. "There is also a lack of awareness in the community about the need to act quickly when individuals are stricken with the disease."   The foundation received one billion riyals ($4.7 million) in financial support from the Ministry of Health, the private sector, business people, charitable organizations and the community at large in 2011, according to Shamlan.   The majority of the donations cover the costs of providing patients with free treatment, he said, and the remaining costs are split evenly between the foundation and patients.   The foundation provides free accommodations for patients coming from outside Sanaa through its affiliate "Dar al-Hayat".

Palliative Care Center e-Library

An e-library was established at Palliative Care Center in Kuwait on September 2012. The new e-library has an advanced hardware and software technology and has access to Kuwait Institute of Medical Education (KIME)-library and database. With the support of Cancer Aware Nation Campaign (Kuwait), it was established to help promote Continuing Medical Education (CME) and researches in palliative care.