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Al Corniche Hospital Launches Breast Cancer Screening Service

Increasing its efforts to fight — one of the most serious health care challenges in the UAE — in Abu Dhabi is offering free mammogram screening to its patients and community in partnership with Tawam Hospital. This new service is part of both hospitals’ commitment to improving the health of the community through better access to health care.

Specialists from the Tawam Hospital Breast Cancer Center will conduct the screenings at the Tawam mobile mammography unit on the Al Corniche Hospital grounds on Dec. 15 and 16, with more dates to be added in 2010. The breast initiative targets women age 40 and older, who are UAE nationals or Abu Dhabi resident visa holders and who are past or current patients at Al Corniche Hospital.

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the UAE,” says Dr. Judy Lee, medical director of Al Corniche Hospital. “Because of the migratory nature of a large percentage of the population, the true incidence is difficult to access. Breast cancer risk does increase with age and it is important to begin screening at age 40. Early detection is crucial. For women at high risk, screening should be based on their family history and discussed with their physician. Mammogram screening is beneficial and has helped decrease deaths from breast cancer.”

Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the UAE and accounts for 28 percent of all female deaths, according to the Abu Dhabi Community Profile written by the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi’s Global Initiative for Breast Cancer Awareness Team. The study noted a mortality rate of 44 percent, often due to late diagnosis.

Al Corniche Hospital, a Joint Commission International-accredited health care facility, is the largest maternity hospital in the UAE. Under a management agreement between Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHI) and the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), a Johns Hopkins executive leadership team has day-to-day oversight of the 235-bed hospital.

Al Corniche is one of three hospitals in the UAE under the management of the Baltimore, Md.-based JHI. The others are Tawam Hospital, a 477-bed tertiary care facility in Al Ain, and Al Rahba Hospital, a 135-bed community facility just outside Abu Dhabi City, both accredited by Joint Commission International.

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