OSN partners with Zahra Association for Saudi-wide campaign to mark ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’

488As the world marks ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’ during October, OSN, the region’s leading pay-TV network, is rolling out a Kingdom-wide campaign in Saudi Arabia to promote awareness and early detection, in partnership with the Zahra Breast Cancer Association, a health charity organisation.

Building on its ‘Live More’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative that leverages the power of television and community engagement to promote health and wellbeing and bring positive change to people’s lives, OSN is supporting the Kingdom’s concerted efforts to address the rising incidence of breast cancer through the month-long campaign.

According to Saudi Cancer Registry, breast cancer accounts for nearly 15 per cent of all new cases of cancers in women. A Globocan report identifies that breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in prevalence (number of people affected), incidence (number of people newly identified) and mortality in Saudi Arabia.

OSN is taking the lead in building awareness about breast cancer through a series of on-ground initiatives. In association with Zahra, OSN will host ‘Pink Houses’ in 20 key cities and towns across the Kingdom in locations such as malls and community centres. These Pink Houses will screen awareness videos and hand out ‘Breast Cancer Healthcare Tips’ prepared by Zahra. The awareness leaflets will also be distributed at all retail outlets of OSN as well as through its social media platforms.

Additionally, OSN channels will screen specially developed awareness videos on breast cancer, while the popular Oprah Winfrey (on TLC HD channel) and Ellen DeGeneres shows will be utilised to communicate the message to a wide audience. A special screening on E! channel will have celebrity TV host Guliana Rancic talk about her battle with breast cancer.

OSN Ya Hala! HD will also devote its own exclusive production, Saudi Doctors to put the spotlight on breast cancer, its risk factors, the need for early screening, treatment and care, and stories of cancer survivors. A special episode of Saudi Doctors on October 16, 2014 will feature Dr. Essam Morshed, Consultant Clinical Oncologist and President of Saudi Oncology Society, and Dr. Khalid Al Hajeri, Consultant Surgical Oncologist, discussing the symptoms of breast cancer, detection, importance of self-assessment and aspects relating to treatment and care. Dr. Samira Al Ghamdi, Consultant Psychologist, will discuss the emotional, psychological and social support needed for breast cancer patients, while Dr. Wael Daghestani, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, will provide details about reconstruction surgery.

Khulud Abu Humus, Executive Vice President of Programming & Creative Services of OSN, said: “Through our Breast Cancer Awareness programming this month, we are highlighting our commitment to be closer to the community in addressing the increasing incidence of breast cancer. This complements our ‘Live More’ CSR initiative to encourage the community to lead a well-balanced lifestyle and make a big difference to their lives through simple day-to-day changes.

“It has been proven that early screening and diagnosis help enhance the effectiveness of breast cancer treatment. We are highlighting this message through our special programmes on various popular channels on OSN, while the on-ground activities with Zahra Association will motivate more women – and men – to step forward and further strengthen awareness on breast cancer. By highlighting the risk factors to bringing cancer survivor stories, we want to motivate more people to go for preventive checks and make positive lifestyle changes.”

Hanadi Al-Outhah, General Manager, and Co-founder of Zahra Breast Cancer Association, said: “Since our inception, our goal has been to underline the need for early detection of breast cancer through visits to universities, schools and malls. OSN’s partnership for the breast cancer awareness campaign enables us to reach out to a vast audience and highlight the critical need to raise awareness on the importance of early detection, its risk factors and treatment options. We congratulate OSN for undertaking this noble endeavour, which will give our efforts to fight breast cancer greater momentum.”

Several studies in Saudi Arabia and globally have concluded that obesity, smoking psychological pressures and stress and family history are risk factors of breast cancer. They advocate a healthy and balanced lifestyle to decrease the chances of breast cancer incidence, and reiterate the need for physical exercise which strengthens the body’s immunity.

Research conducted in Saudi Arabia reports that late-stage diagnosis of breast cancer in the Kingdom, which leads to greater mortality rates, are also the result of lack of information and timely care, thus underpinning the importance of awareness campaigns.

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