By Wafa A. Alkhazzan
Breast cancer is a disease that is of significant global interest, especially since it is the leading cause of death among women. In recent years, an increasing number of researchers are pointing to behaviors such as nutrition as being important for survival. However, early detection is considered to be most crucial for successful healing, reducing mortality by anywhere between fourteen and twenty percent as the survival rate after early diagnosis reaches 95%.
According to the National Foundation for Development and Human Rights, a Yemeni woman dies every two hours as a result of lack of access to women’s health services, especially as they pertain to motherhood, such as through prenatal care and emergency obstetrics. This affects diseases like breast cancer as well, and despite being one of the most important issues faced by Yemeni women, it is not a real priority for the Ministry of Health.
The situation is most stark for rural women. According to one clinic’s records over slightly less than two years, rural women occupy the largest percentage of late-stage diagnoses because of a lack of education and health-care awareness. There is also a shortage of health centers that specialize in detecting breast cancer. It is therefore much more likely to survive breast cancer if one lives in urban areas.
Experts warn that regular checkups should be conducted for anyone who is at-risk of infection, which includes someone whose relatives have the disease. There is also an incidence of the disease in women who have had their first pregnancy after the age of thirty-five. Additionally, smoking and alcoholism are considered to be factors related to the disease.