After helping set the Guinness World Record for largest human awareness ribbon, HRH Princess Reema Bint Bandar Bin Sultan Al-Saud and Zahra Breast Cancer Association have teamed up again to raise awareness around breast cancer, under the patronage of the Saudi Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education.This time they have their eyes set on the world’s tallest peak: Mount Everest.
Under the banners of Alf Khair and Al Bidayah Breastfeeding Resource and Women’s Awareness Center, HRH Princess Reema is heading a campaign titled "A Woman’s Journey: Destination Mount Everest" in which 10 Saudi women will climb to the Mount Everest base camp in May 2012 with the support of Barclays Saudi Arabia and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).
Aiming to inspire other Saudi women to stay physically fit and educate the public on the causes and effects of breast cancer, organizers assembled a team of 10 Saudi females related to a breast cancer victim or survivor and between the ages of 25 and 50 to climb to the Mount Everest base camp between 7 and 21 May 2012 on behalf of in what is guaranteed to be another united show of force. Several side events in the Kingdom will take place in conjunction with the main event and will seek to show that the fight against breast cancer is a global fight.
“Alf Khair and Al Bidayah" are leading advocates for women’s causes in the Kingdom and we want NGOs, schools, universities, activists, the government and media to be a part of this campaign to form a network that not only builds awareness but helps us achieve our vision of having healthier and cancer-free Saudi women. I’m honored and proud to lend my voice to this collective group effort,” said HRH Princess Reema who is a founding member of the Zahra Breast Cancer Association and organizer of the 28 of October 2010 event in Jeddah which saw 3,952 Saudi women gather and form a Guinness World Record largest human awareness ribbon in the form of a pink ribbon.
According to the Saudi Cancer Registry at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among Saudi women and around 8,000 cases are discovered each year of which 50 to 60 percent are diagnosed at a late stage. Despite government efforts, the rate of breast cancer has climbed from 7.6% in the past 10 years to its current high of 24% of all cancer cases. Women over the age of 40 are at greatest risk and early diagnosis is crucial for increasing the chances of survival.
“Breast cancer is on the rise in the Kingdom and early detection can prevent cancer. Women aged 40 and above should have an annual mammogram screening. Women in their 20’s and 30’s should be aware of their health and how there breast feel so they can seek medical advice early. Countless studies have shown that the earlier breast cancer is detected, the higher the chances of survival,” said Dr. Muna Baslaim, a Breast Surgeon and head of Breast Unit at King Fahd General Hospital in Jeddah. “Women also need the support of society, family and friends in the fight against breast cancer,” she added.
The relationship between physical activity and breast cancer has been extensively researched, with over 60 studies published in major scientific journals worldwide. Most studies indicate that physically active women have a lower risk of developing breast cancer than inactive women.
“The campaign’s goals are three-fold: Spread awareness, encourage greater participation and promote healthier lifestyles. The Zahra Breast Cancer Association is privileged that HRH Princess Reema has taken up such a noble cause and we hope this May, Saudi women will join us when we climb Mount Everest, walk for 15 minutes a day in support of the climbers and help spread awareness about this deadly disease,” said Ola Abbass Al-Marzouky, ’A Woman’s Journey: Destination Mount Everest‘ Campaign Spokesperson, General Supervisor for Makkah Reigon office, Zahra Breast Cancer Association, and a breast cancer survivor.
For more information about this initiative, visit their Facebook page
– Khaleejesque Staff