Breast Cancer Conference
Breast Cancer Conference Promotes Early Detection and Awareness Among Bedouin Women
On March 5, 2014, AJEEC-NISPED, in partnership with Soroka University Medical Center and the Clalit Health Fund, held a first-of-its-kind conference to promote breast cancer awareness and early detection in the Bedouin community.
Participants included key stakeholders in the Negev region, hospital personnel, and medical professionals from the Bedouin community. Dr. Ehud Davidson, Director of the Southern Region of the Clalit Health Management Organization and Director of the Soroka University Medical Center, as well as Dr. Michael Mishori-Deri, Director of Clalit’s Southern District both presented.
Breast Cancer Awareness Kit
At the conference, AJEEC-NISPED’s breast cancer awareness kit was presented and distributed to participants. The Arabic language kit promotes early detection of breast cancer and is culturally adapted for use in the Bedouin community healthcare clinics and among the Bedouin population.
Sponsored by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the kit was jointly developed with the Soroka Breast Cancer Clinic, and created to raise awareness about the importance of the disease in Bedouin society. It is written in clear and simple language and includes illustrations that are culturally adapted to directly address the needs of the community.
Bedouin women’s groups, organized and trained by AJEEC-NISPED, use the kit in their work as public health ambassadors, promoting the topic of early detection and general awareness on this vital subject.
About Breast Cancer in Israel and the Negev
A third of cancer cases among Israeli women are breast cancer. The incidence of the disease increases within women aged 40 to 80 years old. However, over the past few years, there has been a significant rise in the number of young women who have been diagnosed. Bedouin women in particular are diagnosed at a younger age, and this is a factor in their overall lower life expectancy (20 years less than women in the general Israeli population).
At the Soroka University Medical Center’s Breast Cancer Clinic, over 15,000 mammograms are conducted monthly. Over 300 cases of cancer are detected annually in the southern region.
Quotes of Note from Key Stakeholders
Kher Albaz, Co-Executive Director of AJEEC-NISPED: “I am thrilled to see another important project advancing. We are exposed to a lot of information and research statistics that show that the Bedouin population in the south is ‘leading’ in problematic health issues. This information obligates us as an NGO to develop programs in the field of health promotion. I thank the amazing cooperation with the Soroka University Medical Center and the Southern District of the Clalit Health Management Organization, as well as the Susan G. Komen Foundation, whose initial sponsorship enabled us to create the breast cancer awareness kit.”
Dr. Ehud Davidson: “Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women, but the type that has the greatest potential for being cured. The most effective treatment is eary detection. If we emphasize prevention, we will be able to save many lives.”
Dr. Michael Mishori-Deri: “The connection between the Breast Cancer Clinic of the Soroka University Medical Center and and the Bedouin community healthcare clinics is very important. it is fitting to have such a day that is all about raising the awareness of the early detection of breast cancer in Bedouin society. The stastics show that the average age of detection for Bedouin women is lower by 10 years, on average, than that of the general population.”
Dr. Michael Koretz, Director of Soroka’s Breast Cancer Clinic: “The residents of the Negev can be proud of the level of breast cancer treatment that exists at the Soroka University Medical Center. Our treatment is multi-discliplinary and addresses patients’ oncological and surgical needs, as well as providing social and emotional counseling services. Breast cancer survival stands today at 80%, which means that if we use all of the tools at our disposal, we are able to sure 80% of the women who have breast cancer.”
Learn more about AJEEC-NISPED’s ongoing work with breast cancer awareness in the Bedouin community here.
Doctor from a Bedouin community health clinic.
One of AJEEC-NISPED’s women’s group leaders.
Chani Philips, head nurse of Soroka’s Breast Cancer Clinic (left) and Huda Al Sayed, one of AJEEC-NISPED’s women’s group leaders (left), show off the breast cancer awareness kit.
Huda Al Sayed, one of AJEEC-NISPED’s women’s group leader, studies the breast cancer kit.