10 Breast Cancer Awareness FAQs in the UAE | ExpatWoman.com

Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Cancers

In this guide, we cover breast cancer awareness FAQs with Dr. Archana Shetty at Mediclinic Dubai

Posted on

1 February 2024

Last updated on 6 February 2024
Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Cancers in UAE

Breast cancer facts, according to a Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon.

As breast cancer incidence continues to rise, patients increasingly start looking out for information about their symptoms and treatment online.

There is already a myriad of online resources and it’s a huge challenge how to choose the best for the specific individual needs. Unfortunately, this information available online can be extremely confusing for the patients.

These 10 simple FAQs about breast cancer have been devised keeping in mind the most common and relevant questions that a patient and the relative need to discuss as they are going through this difficult journey.

1.) How common is breast cancer in the UAE?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. Cancer is the third-leading cause of death in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the incidence continues to rise with the expanding population.

2.) What are the risk factors for breast cancer?

Majority of the cases are sporadic (random) with no identifiable cause.

Some of the known risk factors of breast cancer are:

  • Age: Incidence increases after 40 years of age, though we are seeing them at a younger age nowadays especially in the UAE.
  • Previous history of breast cancer.
  • Reproductive history.
  • Strong family history.
  • Genetic abnormality.
  • Postmenopausal obesity.
  • Hormone replacement therapy.
  • Previous radiotherapy.
  • Excessive alcohol and smoking

3.) What does "Being breast aware" mean?

"Being breast aware" means looking after the health of your breasts as you do for the rest of your body i.e regular self examination.

It can be explained in a 5 step rule of self examination to be done once a month, after your periods.

  1. Know what is normal for you.
  2. Look and feel your breasts (upper chest and armpits too).
  3. Know what changes to look for.
  4. Report any changes without delay.
  5. Make sure you get your regular annual screening mammograms if you’re 40 or over.
Breast cancer self examination

4.) What abnormalities do I have to look for?

  • Any obvious lumps in breast, armpits or above the collar bone
  • Skin thickening
  • Dimpling
  • Nipple inversion
  • Asymmetry
  • Spontaneous nipple discharge
  • Rash around the nipple
  • Change in the shape or size of the breast
  • Red scaly patch of skin
  • General symptoms- bony pains, jaundice, shortness of breath, abdominal distension.

5.) What if I find something abnormal?

"Report it immediately to your doctor," advised Dr. Archana Shetty.

"Most of the time, it will not be cancer, but needs checking out by an expert," she explained.

Women's breast cancer consultation in Dubai and UAE | Mediclinic Dubai Mall Hospital

6.) How often should one have a mammogram?

Every year from the age of 40. Younger women can opt for ultrasonography done at a good health centre, such as Mediclinic.

7.) How is breast cancer treated?

Breast cancer treatment has evolved tremendously over the years and it is now a very treatable disease because of advances in treatment as well as earlier diagnosis.

Treatment depends on the stage of the disease, which means that the treatment will be different for each patient. Usually it is a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone pills.

Please do not compare your treatment with someone else because the treatment can be different for individual patients.

Some patients are recommended to have targeted chemotherapy.

Women's breast cancer treatment in Dubai with Dr. Archana Shetty

8.) Do I have to have the full breast removed if I have breast cancer?

Treatment has advanced over the last 20 years and we no longer recommend mastectomy (removal of the whole breast) for a majority of the patients. They will just need removal of the lump and testing of the lymph nodes in the armpit, also called as sentinel node biopsy.

"However, sometimes we do recommend mastectomy if the tumour is large or there are many tumours," said Dr. Shetty.

"In these conditions, you will be offered immediate reconstruction with either implants or your own body muscle and fat," she added.

9.) How long do I have to stay in hospital after surgery?

You can be discharged the same day or the next day after surgery.

If you opt for a reconstruction, then you may have to stay in hospital for a little longer.

10.) Can men get breast cancer?

Yes. Though rare (1-2%), men can still get breast cancer and unfortunately usually present at a later stage.

Authored by Dr. Archana Shetty, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon at Mediclinic Dubai Mall.

Dr. Archana Shetty is available at Mediclinic Dubai Mall for appointments. Please get in touch below.

Dr. Archana Shetty, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon at Mediclinic Dubai Mall & Mediclinic Parkview Hospital

Dr. Archana Shetty
Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon
Mediclinic Dubai Mall & Mediclinic Parkview Hospital

Mediclinic Dubai Mall
Sponsored by
Mediclinic Dubai Mall
Mediclinic Dubai Mall is Dubai’s largest Ambulatory Care Medical Centre. Located in The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping mall, the Centre covers over 60,000 sqft and provides state-of-the-art facilities.

PO Box 282890, Dubai, UAE
Dubai Mall, Fashion Parking, Level 7