This year marks the 25th anniversary of the pink ribbon, a powerful symbol for millions of people affected by the disease.
Breast cancer is one of the major causes of cancer-related deaths among women and has become the most common malignant disease among Arab women.
The most recent statistics from the World Health Organization show that in 2012, there were 99,000 cases of breast cancer reported across the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of Central Asia combined, whereas the EU had 367,000 cases, and the US had 1,677,000.
While breast cancer rates in the MENA region are evidently lower than in the West, the disease appears in Arab women on average at least 10 years earlier than among their global counterparts, according to research from Lotﬁ Chouchane and Konduru Sastry of Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, published in the Lancet Oncology.
In their findings, the Weill Cornell Medical College experts noted that when the disease is first discovered, Arab women are found to have a more advanced stage of the disease with larger tumors. The regional trend toward delayed discovery only adds to the impetus to promote awareness of the disease in women.
Throughout the month, the Arab News website and printed newspaper will feature a series of special reports focused on raising awareness of breast cancer and combating the disease in the Middle East and globally. Our team will be doing all we can to promote this worthy and increasingly vital cause.