Browsing 'cancer' News

Cancer, one of the most serious diseases, has received a tremendous development in context to both, prevention and cure. However, the fact that cancer is a taboo in the society still continues. People keep the ailment secretive as they are scared of how other people would react on it. There is a need to spread awareness about the prevention and cure of the disease to fight it.

In the same direction a cancer awareness event was organised by HMC’s National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR) with support from Qatar Cancer Society to mark World Cancer Day. The event focussed on spreading awareness about the disease and ways to prevent it by a healthy diet.

The event focussed on explaining that doctors 40% cancers are preventable through proper diet and vaccination and physical exercise. It stressed on importance of regular screenings to detect cancer at an early stage.

The event introduced and explained people the importance of getting vaccination for diseases like Hepatitis B and cervical cancer by getting vaccinated and maintaining a healthy diet. The event stressed that people must include fibrous rich foods and fruits and avoid junk food with high calories to avoid the risk of developing cancer.

Event encouraged people to go undergo screening of for especially breast and colon screening. The event focussed on explaining and imparting information about getting a routine check. It is advised that people aged 50 and above must undergo a screening of for colon cancer. The test of which can be done by stool test or colonoscopy for which various facilities are available in Qatar. This helps in early detection and removal of cancer cells.

As per Dr. Homsi of HMC’s Senior Consultant Physician, Consultant in Internal Medicine and Chairman of Medical Oncology and Haematology Department, Qatar has developed capabilities to cure all stages of cancer. Today there are new treatments available in Qatar that can cure advanced stages of cancer even if it has spread to other parts of the body.

Apart from promoting healthy diet, vaccination, physical exercise the event imparted contact information for getting appointment for routine tests. People above the age of 50 years above and females above 40 years can contact €01112′ for bowel and breast screenings respectively. Women below the age of 40 years may visit Well Woman clinics at their respective health centres for screening of breast cancer.

 

 

 

Khadija Dawn Carryl/Flickr

For illustrative purposes only

After losing her cousin to cancer last year, Qatar resident Nazma Mazhar wanted to find a way to help people battling the illness.

So the self-taught henna designer is now offering a free service to decorate the heads of women who have lost their hair to chemotherapy.

Mazhar has been free-hand painting intricate Indian and Arabic designs on women’s bodies for the last decade. But this was only usually to mark moments of celebration such as Eids or weddings.

April-Mo/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

However, her cousin’s death inspired her to want to do more for others in pain.

“I want to help make them feel special because they are suffering from cancer,” the 23-year-old told Doha News.

She added:

“I had thought about doing this two or three years ago but hadn’t got around to it. Then one of my cousins got cancer, and she passed away last year. After that I decided to help people.”

‘Good medicine’

After moving to Qatar from Sri Lanka in March this year, the trained primary teacher set up her own business – Qatari Henna Studio – while she looks for teaching work.

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Henna artist Nazma Mazhar

She recently kick-started her search for potentially interested clients on popular Facebook page When, Where & How in Doha.

Describing the process, Mazhar said the henna pattern would be gently applied to the scalp of the person who may have lost their hair as a result of chemotherapy.

This can be a traumatic time, particularly for women who often cover their heads with scarves or wigs.

Instead, Mazhar is seeking to transform the patient’s head into a thing of beauty.

Nazma Mazhar

Henna designs

“We can also do the designs on the hands, arms, feet or anywhere on the body the lady would like. Henna has cooling power, it is a good medicine,” Mazhar added.

She added that she will speak to the Qatar Cancer Society to identify women with the illness who might be interested in the initiative.

Similar projects have been undertaken in countries across the world.

The idea gained widespread appeal about a decade ago after a studio in San Francisco began applying henna to scalps to boost the confidence of cancer patients and those with alopecia (hair loss).

Raising awareness

In recent years, Qatar has launched many public awareness programs for some of its more prevalent cancers, particularly breast and bowel cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in Qatar among women, accounting for a third of all cancer cases in this demographic.

Jen Goellnitz/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

However, survival rates are high if the cancer is diagnosed and treated at an early stage.

The Primary Health Care Corporation’s Screen for Life campaign offers mammograms to all women aged 45-69 years, and Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health advises women to have mammograms every three years to aid early detection and treatment.

You can contact Nazma Mazhar through her Facebook or Instagram pages, call her on 7047 6495, or email her at [email protected]

Thoughts?

Sameer Ahmed climbing Aconcagua in Argentina

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Sameer Ahmed climbing Aconcagua in Argentina

Having beaten cancer twice, Sameer Ahmed isn’t one to back down from challenges.

The 31-year-old, who has lived in Qatar for five years, is an avid climber who has been working to raise awareness about cancer in the community.

Next year, he is planning to take a group of residents to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds for cancer charities.

Speaking to Doha News, Ahmed explained his motivations for creating Climb Over Cancer, which targets Qatar’s male residents.

“I realized that many people in Qatar don’t actually talk about cancer, and if they do, it’s usually breast cancer,” Ahmed said. “Awareness is more focused towards women; it’s like men can’t get cancer.”

Fighting lymphoma

Ahmed was first diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma seven years ago, at the age of 24 while at home in Canada.

The shocking news galvanized him into action, he recalled:

“My first thought was that I had to do something about it. I couldn’t just sit there and let it do what it was doing to me. I thought: there’s so much I still have left to do, so many things I have left to achieve. That desire never left me.”

As he recovered from his second bout of Hodgkin Lymphoma – a relapse a year after his first diagnosis – his cousin, a keen climber, suggested he join him for a trip.

So the pair planned a visit to Aconcagua in Argentina, the highest mountain in the southern hemisphere, for when he was feeling better.

Sameer Ahmed and friend climbing Aconcagua in Argentina

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Sameer Ahmed (left) climbing Aconcagua in Argentina

Originally, he planned the challenge for personal reasons – “to say that I could do something physically I didn’t think I could do” – but later, Ahmed decided to use his climb to raise awareness.

Through Climb Over Cancer, the expat also hopes to educate people about the importance of prevention and early detection, and to reinforce that cancer is not an automatic death sentence.

“I didn’t want people to think that if they had cancer, their life was over,” he said.

Aconcagua climb

Ahmed set off to climb Aconcagua in December last year.

It was the five-year anniversary of him being declared free from cancer – an anniversary of great significance.

“I felt I had to do something, to tell the world that I was ok,” he said.

Sameer Ahmed climbing Aconcagua in Argentina

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Sameer Ahmed during his climb

His ascent was supported by several companies in Qatar, including Go Sport and The Look.

Additionally, Aspire’s Aspetar Hospital allowed him to sleep in one of their special altitude chambers to help prepare him for climbing to the summit.

He used social media to share his progress on the climb and to promote his cause.

However, Ahmed never made it to the top of Aconcagua. Very high winds made the ascent impossible.

“We stayed above 5400 meters for four days waiting for the weather to change, but it didn’t change, and when your body is at that altitude for that long, there’s no way to go down and go up again. So we had to make that choice.”

New challenge

Ahmed is undeterred, however. He now plans to tackle Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, in 2017.

This time, he wants to take a team of people from Qatar with him, and raise funds as well as awareness. He is now talking to the Qatar Cancer Society about a partnership.

Sameer Ahmed and climbing companions in Argentina

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Sameer Ahmed and climbing companions in Argentina

Ahmed already has a couple of people lined up for the trip, but he is still seeking further climbing companions:

“I would like to get a group of people together, from different backgrounds,” he told us. “People who have dealt with cancer, or who have had family with cancer. People with their own individual story.”

Anyone interested in joining Ahmed on the climb can message him via his Facebook page or Instagram account.

Thoughts?