This year, World Cancer Day 2014 (February 4th) will focus on Target 5 of the World Cancer Declaration: Reduce stigma and dispel myths about cancer, under the tagline “Debunk the myths.” The aim of World Cancer Day is to improve the general knowledge around cancer and dismiss misconceptions about the disease. In Qatar, the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) will be hosting a key stakeholder event to introduce these myths and, more importantly, launch four initiatives that will dispel existing myths in Qatar. The four initiatives include: the launch of the National Cancer Strategy’s new identity, now to be recognized as National Cancer Program (NCP); the NCP Website; the NCP myth refutation campaign; and the NCP breast cancer awareness campaign. These initiatives all play a role in earning the populations’ trust, providing accurate and factual cancer information.
SCH and Sidra, along with other key stakeholders, are working together to deliver cancer education in schools around Qatar. Programs such as the SCH’s ‘We are healthy kids,’ which focuses on encouraging healthy living behaviors, currently exists in participating schools across the country. Guidelines are being developed to cement the important link between healthy living behaviors and reducing the risk of cancer. Education about cancer specific-signs and symptoms, screening, the importance of early detection and treatments will also be introduced in Qatar, as increased knowledge tends to decrease the fear factor surrounding cancer and reduce delays in seeking medical help.
Statistics show that the childhood cancer incidence rates in Qatar are estimated to be about 12 per 100,000 children, with half of these cancers being leukemia or brain tumors. Sidra will have provision to treat children who live in Qatar, the wider Middle East region and beyond with any form of cancer, offering chemotherapy services and bone marrow transplants using state-of-the-art equipment and services. Sidra will have ten oncology and ten bone marrow transplant beds with an extra bed for family members to stay while their children are receiving care. The children will also have use of a fully-equipped playroom to help reduce stress associated with difficult treatments.
This year on World Cancer Day find out more about prevailing cancer stereotypes and “Do Something” to fight them.