Friends Of Cancer Patients (FOCP), a charitable institution in the UAE dedicated to support the treatment of cancer patients as well as raising awareness about the importance of early detection of cancer, has participated in the third edition of the Combined Gulf Cancer Conference, organised by the Bahrain Cancer Society under the umbrella of the Gulf Federation for Cancer Control (GFFCC) and Gulf Centre for Cancer Control & Prevention.
FOCP’s participation stemmed from its commitment to partake in both regional and international events dedicated to raising awareness of cancer prevention and the latest innovation in treatment.
The third edition of the conference was held under the theme, ‘Quality Care: New Horizons’, and offered delegates the opportunity to learn from the knowledge and experience of a host of internationally renowned experts. It aims to support health systems in the Gulf region with a focus on early detection and research, especially in breast, colon and rectal cancers.
FOCP presented the vital role of its Pink Caravan (PC) initiative at the event underlining the importance of different social media platforms as a conduit to elevate awareness on breast cancer and the importance of early detection.
In her presentation, Dr. Sawsan Al Madhi, Director General of FOPC, and Head of the Pink Caravan Ride Medical and Awareness Committee, highlighted PC’s achievements since it was launched back in 2011 including the fact that it has conducted nearly 65,000 clinical breast exams in the UAE, which has led to the lives of many women being saved as the initiative not only diagnosed their condition, but also facilitated their access to treatment and follow ups until they recovered fully.
FOCP also attended the GFFCC board meeting, which discussed several topics including the administration report for the year 2018. The meeting commended FOCP’s efforts to support the ‘Doctors without Borders’ initiative, launched by the GFFCC to raise awareness about the importance of the early detection of head and neck cancers and cervical cancers in Mauritania.
“At FOCP, we are keen on being present at events focused on setting new and promising policies, objectives and approaches that seek to further awareness on cancer in the community and deliver the highest levels of care, support and prevention measures. We support the GFFCC’s efforts in developing plans and strategies that are now helping instill hope in cancer patients,” said HE Sawsan Jafar, Chairperson of FOCP Board of Directors.
“Our participation at this conference has contributed to promoting FOCP’s efforts and educating partners on the different plans and objectives of the GFFCC, and emphasising the need to enhance collaboration. Participation in such events leads to new ideas that support decision-making processes in the healthcare field and sets the path to develop new cancer prevention and control plans,” she said.
“FOCP has launched many initiatives throughout our 20 years journey that provided a supporting environment for cancer prevention and control in collaboration with our partners, and we will continue to further our efforts in this direction,” she added.
Founded in 1999, the FOCP was established to help alleviate the financial and emotional burden that cancer often imposes on patients and their families, and to promote awareness about the six early detectable types of the disease: breast, cervical, prostate, skin, testicular and colorectal cancers. Apart from its awareness role, FOCP is committed to providing moral and financial support to thousands of patients and their families of all ages and nationalities across the UAE. To date, FOCP has provided support to more than 5000 cancer patients and their families.