by Fatima Aruri
RAMALLAH, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) — The cure rate of women diagnosed with breast cancer at the early stage in the West Bank has reached nearly 90 percent, the Palestinian Health Ministry said in October.
Figures revealed by the ministry said that a total of 503 new cases of the disease were reported in 2017 in the West Bank, while 327 new cases were registered in Gaza.
Since the beginning of 2018, 3,850 women took early examination of breast cancer, out of whom 210 requested treatment or special medical reference.
The increase in cases with early detection has helped raise the survival rate of this deadly disease from below 50 percent in 2016 to around 90 percent in 2018, thanks to the persistent awareness campaigns held by the Palestinian civil society organizations.
On Friday, the 2018 Pink Marathon took place in the West Bank’s central city of Ramallah to raise public awareness on breast cancer and encourage the patients to confront it.
Laila Ghannam, governor of Ramallah and Al-Bireh, who also took part in the event, said she hoped that the event could usher in a culture of fighting breast cancer in the region.
“I salute to the survivors of breast cancer who took part in the marathon today. They represent successful stories and a message to all women that they can overcome this illness,” she said.
“I also salute to the men who took part in the marathon, as some perceive the pink marathon as a women-only event. It is not, it is a event of both genders,” she added.
Around 500 Palestinians, individuals and families, young and old, participated in the annual pink marathon, running a route of nearly 3 km across the city wearing pink T-shirts with slogans on calling for the importance of early detection.
Hana Allan, who overcame breast cancer four years ago, said that the journey was not easy and urged women to go for early examination because it can be totally cured.
“I am here to support others. Because my personal experience was very difficult, I would like to take part in this marathon to raise awareness to all women to go for early detection checks, which will help contain the disease and the chances for survival are around 90 percent. This is also a general support message to say that we need to take care of ourselves,” Allan said.
Mohammad Kharouf, another runner, told Xinhua that he was here to support women and spread the message that the breast cancer can be cured with early detection.
“We hear about breast cancer, especially among women, and how it is spreading. There are proper cures for it, but it needs time and early detection, which is essential to help women get over it,” he said.