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Breast cancer workshops stress need for early detection

By Dana Al Emam - Mar 20,2017 - Last updated at Mar 20,2017

AMMAN — Children of breast cancer survivors on Sunday expressed their joy and gratitude for celebrating Mother’s Day with their mothers during a Jordan Breast Cancer Programme (JBCP) launching event. 

Sunday’s event launched the fifth edition of a series of multidisciplinary workshops on the early detection of breast cancer.

The 2017 edition brought together 260 medical experts and technicians from 17 countries to exchange knowledge regarding the most recent treatment technologies and trends, JBCP Director Nisreen Qatamish said at the opening of the workshops.

She noted that the workshops seek to provide professional, theoretical, and hands-on training for doctors and technicians, while enhancing collective knowledge and awareness on early detection screening and diagnosis of breast cancer among journalists, digital marketing and social media experts.

Qatamish, also director general of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation (KHCF), highlighted the integrating roles of doctors, technicians, engineers, educators and journalists in saving lives of women and families in their own field.

Speaking during a panel discussion at the event, a multidisciplinary team of experts highlighted the role of early detection and breast cancer technologies in spreading societal awareness in the fight against breast cancer.

Consultant radiologist and professor emeritus of radiology at the Swedish University of Uppsala School of Medicine, Laszlo Tabar said that training radiology specialists on reading mammogram was “vital”.

He noted that mammography is a subspecialty of radiology that requires special training.

For her part, Consultant Radiologist and Director of Breast Imaging at the KHCF Laila Abu Tahoun said that the technological advancements in screening machines have helped physicians find small breast cancer at early stages, contributing to a boost in survival rates.  

She also drew a link between the specialists’ ability to provide psychosocial support to women coming for screening and the frequency of their visits.

Juergen Heckel, vice president of EIZO Corporation, said the company will provide hands-on training to biomedical engineers and technicians during the workshop.  

Martine Najem, from the faculty of health sciences at the American University of Beirut, noted that patients education was as essential as training health physicians  

A number of children of cancer survivors also attended the launching ceremony, where they expressed their gratitude for spending Mother’s Day with their mothers. 

Fifth grader Mirna and her brother Abdullah say it was difficult to believe it when they learned their mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, but it became even a bigger shock when her hair started falling.

But, with the treatment provided by KHCF, she was able to recover and celebrate with them on this special holiday.

For teenager Lujain, whose mother was also diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago, the disease was an “unwelcome guest”, that her and her family are glad to see gone.

“My mother’s sickness was an eye-opening experience for all of us, and it strengthened our relations,” she said.

Rand, along with her two sisters, shared similar sentiments, explaining that with the passing of her father when she was young, her mother had played the central role in the family.

She talked about her mother’s strong mindset and persistence in her fight against cancer. The workshops started on Monday and will continue until Thursday. 


Around 5,400 breast cancer cases are recorded in Jordan every year, according to the KHCF.

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