Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and is the country’s most common cancer in females. Currently, participation of UAE-based women in breast cancer screenings remains low, with women diagnosed at advanced stages, negatively impacting disease prognosis and survival rates. Early detection would enable more treatment options, improve the conditions of survivorship, and reduce the number of premature deaths. Health awareness campaigns and screening services need to address the barriers that are preventing women in the UAE from having early screenings and apply targeted methods of encouraging the participation of both Emirati and non-Emirati women. This policy paper explores women’s use of breast cancer screening practices and other women’s health services in the UAE, as well as the emirate’s ecosystem of awareness building and support impacting their behaviors. This includes the current encouragement and outreach strategies and campaigns being utilized, the knowledge levels of health professionals on breast screening practices, and how organizations and institutions provide patient education. Using the perspectives of women, nurses, and representatives from health organizations, the policy paper concludes with recommendations for effective breast cancer public campaigns and improved breast screening participation.
Recommended citation: Awwad, D., Hossain, S., Mackey, M., & Brennan, P. (2020). Development and implementation of public awareness campaigns around breast cancer in the UAE: A Ras Al Khaimah case study (Policy Paper No. 37). Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research. http://dx.doi.org/10.18502/aqf.0137