Global biopharmaceutical company MSD GCC, concluded a four-month-long awareness campaign, #EveryBreathCounts, which was launched on 1st August 2023, to coincide with World Lung Cancer Day.
The campaign was launched in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) and Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) to raise awareness about lung cancer and educate the community on the importance of maintaining healthy lungs. The campaign continued through November, when World Lung Cancer Awareness Month was observed.
#EveryBreathCounts aims to promote early detection and preventive measures to combat lung cancer in the region. The disease is the second most common cancer globally, the most common cancer among men, and second among women after breast cancer. According to Globocan (Global Cancer Observatory), lung cancer accounted for 187 mortalities in the UAE in 2020. It was the second-highest cause of cancer-related fatalities after breast cancer.
The campaign had a range of vital awareness initiative
s. It commenced with releasing a captivating video featuring the iconic Burj Khalifa. This video conveyed a powerful message emphasising the significance of early screening and adopting a healthy lifestyle to mitigate the disease while enhancing treatment efficacy.
Additionally, MSD partnered with Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC), in a month-long annual initiative challenging people to commit to 30 minutes of daily physical activity for 30 days to educate them on the critical role of a healthy lifestyle in reducing the risk factors associated with the development of lung cancer. As part of the DFC's 30-day calendar of free fitness events, community hubs, classes, and activities, MSD hosted an informative booth at Dubai Run and Ride Central, DFC's newest fitness village conveniently located at One Central near the Emirates Towers and Dubai World Trade Centre metro stations, where participants will have the opportunity to test the health of their lungs through a spirometer breathing test.
Commenting on the initi
ative, Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Public Health Sector at MoHAP, said, "We are delighted to collaborate with MSD GCC in launching this awareness campaign. Initiatives such as these have a crucial role in improving the overall quality of life, reducing the incidence of lung cancer, and promoting disease prevention in the UAE. The objectives of this initiative are aligned with the National Wellbeing Strategy 2031, which aims to position the UAE as a global leader in quality of life and promote a comprehensive understanding of wellbeing. By raising awareness and highlighting the significance of regular screening and early detection, we can enhance treatment outcomes for patients and mitigate the mortality rates associated with lung cancer."
Ashraf Mallak, Managing Director, MSD GCC, said, "Our #EveryBreathCounts awareness campaign is more than just raising lung cancer awareness. It is about empowering the UAE community to take control of their lung health. Through this c
ampaign, we advocate the adoption of healthier lifestyles and contribute to reducing the prevalence of the disease in the country. Additionally, we aim to dispel myths about lung cancer and promote early detection to help patients receive the treatment they need as soon as possible. By working together, we can make a difference in the fight against lung cancer."
Aisha Abdulla Al Mulla, Director at FoCP, said, "Friends of Cancer Patients welcomes such campaigns as #EveryBreathCounts to raise cancer awareness in the UAE. This initiative translates our shared visions of empowering individuals to take proactive steps in preventing and detecting lung cancer. By working together, we can significantly improve the lives of those affected by this disease and foster a healthier future for our community."
The leading cause of lung cancer globally is smoking, which is responsible for more than 85 percent of all lung cancer cases. In the UAE, smoking prevalence, especially among males, is a major concern. Both active sm
oking (smoking cigarettes, shisha, and other tobacco products) and passive smoking (exposure to second-hand smoke) can increase the risk of developing lung cancer.
While lung cancer is primarily caused by an external factor, namely smoking, genetic predisposition can also play a role in determining an individual's susceptibility to the disease. Specific genetic mutations and inherited traits can increase the risk of developing lung cancer.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle, avoiding tobacco use, promoting clean air initiatives, and taking appropriate safety precautions in occupational settings are key steps in reducing the risk of lung cancer. Regular screening and early detection can also improve outcomes for individuals at higher risk or with a family history of lung cancer.
Source: Emirates News Agency