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Initiative spreads breast cancer awareness
By Mohan Vadayar October 07, 2013
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DUBAI: Testimonies to reassure breast cancer patients in the UAE were given by surviving patients including lady doctors who bear only a scar as a reminder of their past agony at a function held in Dubai on Sunday.

The event was the re-launch of the Think Pink initiative by jewellery giant Joy Alukkas, held in association with Zulekha Hospital and Dubai Health Authority (DHA) at Park Hyatt Hotel.

The Joyalukkas Think Pink initiative was launched with the theme ‘Take a Pink Pledge,’ once again on Sunday as part of the Joyalukkas commitment to reinforce and build awareness of the fight against breast cancer in the UAE.

The mega Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative is supported by the Sharjah-based Zulekha Hospital and DHA.

The event was attended by Dr Ahmad Bin Kalban, CEO of primary healthcare at DHA, Dr Pamela Munster, renowned breast cancer research specialist, professor, department of medicine (haematology/oncology), University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), director, early phase clinical trials unit and leader, developmental therapeutics programme, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Centre and several official dignitaries and eminent doctors from the field of breast cancer research.

“This year we are making an increased drive towards educating and empowering women since we have received a positive response over the last two years. I would like to sincerely thank the esteemed DHA for supporting this drive and helping us to extend our reach to more people and educate them on this disease. I would like to especially thank Zulekha Hospital for the support it has extended to us in our endeavour,” said Joy Alukkas, chairman and MD, Joyalukkas Group.

The campaign is a non-profit initiative with the objective to educate and inform all on the disease.

The month of October is celebrated worldwide as the month dedicated to building awareness, educating and empowering women on breast cancer.

To complement the global drive, Joyalukkas launched “Think Pink” in the year 2011, as one of its main activities within its yearly CSR calendar.

The initiative strives to drive awareness and educate society on the various aspects of breast cancer, including detection, via various media and in-store activities, John Paul, executive director, Joyalukkas Group added.

The launch was celebrated with the release of hundreds of pink balloons by Kalban and the group of dignitaries,

“According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), one-third of cancer deaths could be reduced with early detection. In a worldwide context, this equates to 400,000 lives every year. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women, yet, despite its prevalence, not enough cases are caught in the early stages and the longer a cancer goes undetected, the harder it is for doctors to tackle it and for patients to survive. Therefore, such awareness campaigns are vital to educate women and their family members about the importance of regular screenings to detect breast cancer early on,” Kalban, said.

Other than media campaigns, there will be special orientation programmes planned in universities, schools, Government offices and various corporates across the UAE. Popular radio stations across the UAE will also be used as a medium to interact live with listeners, hear their stories and most importantly to educate and build awareness, Paul added.

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