A group of female doctors arranged the event on Sunday night March 3rd where they spoke about Breast Cancer and how common it is in our country particularly among women. Breast Cancer is globally the second most common type of cancer. A lot of people die from it due to delay in seeking medical advice but in the case of Somaliland, Women are shy about reaching out for help which as a result causes early preventable deaths. Breast Cancer is not a disease that happens to women only but men can get it as well although it is estimated that only 1% of men get it.
Dr. Saynab was leading this event and introduced the importance of this topic and how they created their team. “We decided to initiate this team in 2015 in the hope of helping people to be aware of this disease but we officially started in March 3rd 2016” Dr. Saynab also talked about the causes of breast cancer. She said “Some of the things that cause cancer are prolonged take of birth control pills, Alcohol, Cigarettes and Qat. It could be hereditary too”
Dr. Shukri Daahir spoke next about the percentage of women affected by Breast cancer in the world. She reported that “17.5 million women get cancer per year and 9 million of them die. 1.7 million get breast cancer” Dr. Shukri also mentioned that in every 182,000 women in America 26% of them get breast cancer so it is pretty serious. Dr. Shukri touched on how there is a good medical help in America. The survival rate is very high. However, in the case of Somaliland, women are not as worried as they should be about their health. “Part of it is lack of health awareness and the fact that Chemotherapy is not available in Somaliland. Another obstacle on the way is using herbal medicine which in terms of cancer is not useful at all.” Dr. Shukri also classified the areas in Africa affected by breast cancer into three different parts. Central Africa, South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa. She said that breast cancer is most common in the Sub-Saharan area because it is where women die at home mostly.
Dr. Sahra Caydiid listed the symptoms of breast Cancer. She said “if you see these signs then you should immediately contact a doctor. Symptoms are Change in your normal breast color, change in size, unusual hardness of the breast, swelling, blood or milk leaking from your breast, severe pain, and laceration as well as skin holes.”
Lastly, Dr. Afnan spoke about the treatment of breast cancer in which she categorized into four stage treatment. She said “When the tumor is only in the breast and has not spread to any other place then we cut out the breast. If the tumor reaches the muscles around the breast and the glands, we also cut it. However, when it spreads to the entire body, there is nothing we could do about it.” Therefore Dr. Afnan highly recommended that we (both men and women) do checkups every now and then.
This event was very important for it was an eye opening to our community and will eventually save lives. It was a motivation to those who are too shy to come get help and enlightening to those who don’t understand the risk they are taking by dealing with breast cancer at home. In the end of this event, the audience was given a chance to ask questions and all three doctors answered them. We had ninety people come to the event twenty six of them males and sixty four females. What we hope people to take away from it is that breast cancer is a life threatening disease and should be dealt with in hospitals and to also prevent it by staying healthy and checking yourself up regularly.