The Pink Caravan, a pan-UAE breast cancer awareness initiative by the Friends of Cancer Patients, FoCP, is organising more than 50 events across the country to coincide with International Breast Cancer Awareness Month, observed internationally every year in October. Held in collaboration with several government and private organisations, the aim is to educate women about breast cancer and the importance of early detection.
The events include Pink Caravan Riders’ shows, educational workshops, free screenings for the early detection of breast cancer, seminars about methods of breast self-examination, and visits to a large number of companies, schools and organisations to educate staff and students about the disease. A range of UAE and international organisations, companies and businesses, including The Nail Spa, Ralph Lauren, Nine West Arabia, EGMA Optics, Fitness First, Fairmont Dubai, Charles and Keith Store and Jumeirah Primary School among many others are collaborating in the events.
The aim is to focus on spreading awareness of breast cancer and the importance of early detection, the methods of self-examination and dispelling any myths and misconceptions related to the condition. Free screenings are also on offer.
Ameera BinKaram, President of the Board of Trustees and founding member of FoCP, Chairperson of the Higher Organising Committee of the Pink Caravan Ride, said, "The Pink Caravan was founded in 2011 under the directives and with the support of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. Sheikha Jawaher, is Founder and Royal Patron of FoCP, International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control, UICC, and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC. The event strives to raise community awareness to combat breast cancer and promote the concept of early detection and regular checkups among UAE society.
"Over the past five years, the Pink Caravan has offered free screenings to 34,400 men and women, a major achievement that would not have been possible without the support of UAE leaders, organisations and the community," BinKaram added. "This year, we continue to implement a host of events and activities with ongoing support from our partners. These events are held in October to coincide with International Breast Cancer Awareness Month."
According to Pink Caravan, there are facts and information about breast cancer that all women and men should be fully aware of. For example, breast cancer can affect all people, women and men, young and elderly, rich and poor. According to data, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting women worldwide, accounting for 16% of all cancer types. However, breast cancer is highly treatable and completely curable if it is detected in the early stages. When breast cancer is caught and treated early, the 5-year survival rates are approximately 98 percent, and this is what FoCP are striving to achieve in the UAE, through nonstop awareness campaigns and activities throughout the year.
Other organisations collaborating with Pink Caravan in the month-long activities include, Nestle Middle East, ITB Group, USH Boutique, Fatema Fardan Design, Coral Beach Ajman, Hilton Abu Dhabi, Hard Rock Cafe, Hamptons Cafe, Garrett Popcorn, Candylicious, Spun Candy, Kingfield Real Estate, Shawarma Time, Emirates Global Aluminium, EGA, and GEMs Royal School, Dubai.