18 March 2019

Lab Chat

Taking place across the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Pink Caravan Ride (PCR) is an awareness-raising and taboo-breaking campaign to improve breast cancer treatment and diagnosis. As the campaign enters its 8th year, they have introduced genetic testing in the hope that more people will be able to catch the disease early.

Another addition to the PCR is the mini mobile clinic, offering lectures by medical experts, self-examination workshops and preliminary manual check-ups to support other services. The new efforts are aiming to maximise the campaign’s outreach, supporting more people across the UAE.

Medical progression

Initially, the PCR was established to raise awareness of the deadly disease and start a conversation between locals and medical professionals to increase the number of early diagnoses and regular screenings. “We were a bit wary of the way our campaign would be received – horses on the road, rallying support to create breast cancer awareness – a taboo topic we would generally push under the carpet,” said Reem BinKaram, head of the Pink Caravan’s Higher Organising Committee.

But the campaign has been a huge nationwide success, with this year’s ride aiming to screen a whopping 9,000 men and women from different areas in the Emirates. The PCR is now a symbol of hope, health and awareness, attracting thousands of people each year in a celebration of progression. .

Since the start of the campaign, over 16,000 mammograms have been conducted, with over 1,400 riders and volunteers coming together to promote the importance of regular breast cancer screenings.

Global reach

The continued growth and support for the PCR isn’t limited to the UAE. “We are planning to share our experience to the countries of the world, so they can implement it to spread awareness among people to reduce high risk of the disease”, says BinKaram. .

At the same time, we’re seeing promising developments in testing from other countries. A recent medical breakthrough in Australia has led to the development of a fast and accurate universal cancer test that can be completed in just ten minutes.

While the test doesn’t reveal the severity or location of cells, it does detect traces of the disease in the blood stream.

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