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Race for the Cure: Breast cancer awareness month

Women all over the world suffer from it. It’s the most common form of cancer affecting women in Egypt. Breast cancer is unfortunately yet undoubtedly prevalent. However a positive diagnosis need not be a death sentence. Sadly, lack of public awareness and the financial shortages that impede screening and diagnostic services render chances of survival low and mortality rates correspondingly high.

Every October, breast cancer charities all over the world participate in the international health campaign, Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), dedicating their efforts to raise both awareness and funding for research into, prevention and cure of breast cancer.

As a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) registered under the Ministry of Social Solidarity, the Breast Cancer Foundation of Egypt raises awareness of breast cancer, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation through the provision of free education and patient services.

On the 23 October 2010, thousands of Egyptians will fight for breath while fighting breast cancer, as they embark on the second Egyptian Race for the Cure around the Pyramids of Giza.
Hosted by the BCFE and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the event aims to raise awareness about breast cancer.

Under the patronage of Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement (which operates on the principle that peace can be a catalyst for development), and Zahi Hawass, the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the race will witness the first steps towards a nation fully aware of the risks of breast cancer.

Dressed in race t-shirts and caps, approximately 6000 Egyptians took these steps, some of which were slower than others across from the smallest of the three pyramids to the legendary Sphinx in last year’s Race for the Cure.

Also prominent in the fight against breast cancer is The Egyptian Medical Students’ Association (EMSA), the only legally recognized Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) representing Egyptian medical students.

With a firm mission to equip future physicians and healthcare workers with enough skills, competencies and open minds to reshape the future of this country, EMSA is initiating A Woman’s Stand: Going Pink, a new campaign to raise awareness amongst the public.

To this end, a number of exciting events will be hosted by EMSA in honor of breast cancer month. A book exchange event on 16 October will kick off the campaign. Book worms will be invited to spend the day flicking through books donated by others, exchanging used books for new reads, all for a flat admission fee which will be put towards other events.

Next, EMSA will be taking advantage of the fact that most students can’t cook by hosting a series of bake sales between 17 – 24 October at universities and sporting clubs across Cairo. The idea behind the bake sales is to fill their stomachs with food and their heads with knowledge about breast cancer.

The highlight of the month’s activities put on by EMSA will take place on 29 October, venue to be announced. This is planned as an entertainment gala, where women and men alike can spend a day in the sun, playing games and listening to music with breast cancer awareness as a backdrop. Guest speakers and physicians will be invited to offer valuable information, for those who can tear themselves away from the live bands.

Cancer is basically an unregulated cellular multiplication which occurs as a result of mutations in the genes that regulate such growth. Usually, cells in the human body replace themselves through a systematic process of cell growth. But over time, genetic mutations can stimulate cells to divide uncontrollably leading to the formation of a tumor.

Such tumors can either be benign (not dangerous to health, as cells do not invade neighbouring tissue or spread throughout the body) or malignant (potentially very dangerous to health as they spread throughout the body). Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that has developed from cells in the breast, caused by a genetic abnormality.

Breast Cancer Month is the perfect opportunity for women to be reminded of the importance of early detection, which is key in the treatment and development of the disease.  Whether racing or reading, Egyptians will have ample opportunity to gain a wealth of knowledge concerning breast cancer during this year’s Breast Cancer Month, facilitated by local NGOs.

To register for The Race for Cure visit:

For information about EMSA events:

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