MSD — a medical corporation — held a press conference to mark International Breast Cancer Awareness Month in which it launched awareness campaigns on the symptoms and complications of breast cancer, early detection methods, and the latest treatments that have been devised to control it.
The campaigns also focus on the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle and avoiding the factors that cause breast cancer and increase your odds of getting it, such as being overweight, exposed to tobacco smoke, and excessive usage of hormones for extended periods.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer with more than 2.2 million cases recorded in 2020, and it is the number one cause of cancer-related deaths among women, according to data from the World Health Organisation.
Among the treatments that have proven highly effective in treating cancer — particularly breast cancer — is the new drug pembrolizumab, which is produced by MSD, provides hope to millions of women around the world, and has received approval from the Ministry of Health and Population in Egypt, as well as proven effective in clinical trials globally.
According to Hamdy Abdel Azim — Professor of Oncology at Cairo University’s Faculty of Medicine and Head of the National Committee for the president’s initiative for women’s health — the government is interested in offering care and treatment to prevent and treat cancer, especially the kinds that affect women like uterine and breast cancer.
Furthermore, he emphasised that Egypt’s recovery rates for breast cancer patients have significantly increased as a result of the presidential initiative’s efforts over the previous two years, particularly the initiatives pertaining to the health and care of pregnant women and new mothers that were introduced in July 2019.
Along with promoting reproductive health and free medical care, the efforts seek to offer early-detection services for breast cancer and non-communicable diseases.
He added that the government is keen on holding various partnerships with different authorities in order to provide medical care and modern drugs that have proven effective in treating these diseases, including pembrolizumab, which increases the ability of the immune system to attack tumours, and therefore it is suitable for patients who suffer from development illness during or after chemotherapy.
According to Hazem Abdel Samie — Managing Director of MSD Egypt Cluster — the firm is interested in research and innovation to develop effective medicines for malignant diseases, particularly pembrolizumab, which lessens the intensity of chemotherapy and lessens its negative effects.
In clinical trials, the medication demonstrated to be quite effective, he noted, adding that immunotherapy is one of the therapeutic modalities that activates the body’s immune system to fight cancer.
For her part, Ibtisam Saad Al-Din — Professor of Oncology at the Faculty of Medicine of Cairo University — emphasised the importance of caring for women’s health to the entire society, stressing the importance of all women taking care of their physical and psychological health, as well as setting up a schedule for periodic examinations to check on their health first.
She also advised them on how to maintain their nutritional programmes and early examination routines, as well as how to detect any diseases quickly in order to achieve the best treatment results.