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Breast cancer is the most common cancer among
Arabian women in Qatar. They have low participation rates in breast cancer
screening that’s why the morbidity and mortality of Arabian women largely
delayed for diagnosis. The reason why they have low participation is because of
some environmental factors like gender friendly healthcare services, lack of
national Breast Cancer Screening protocol, time constraints, deficiencies in
the patient’s health records system, cost of mammograms and transportation.
According to the perspective of healthcare practitioners, Arab women’s health
cannot be understood in the isolation from the environment in which they live.

Well-women Clinic (WWC) is a community-based
program offered in primary healthcare centres in all communities. The WWC
program is better in promoting Breast Cancer Screening because it was
geographically, financially and culturally accessible. In the other hand, WWC
is staffed by female healthcare professionals and offers a range of healthcare
promotion and illness prevention education, screening and referral services for
free. Gender is highlighted as a major strength of the programme because it can
reduce the feeling of shame and guilt during the examination that requires
exposure of body parts.

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            Qatar
also lack of a national breast cancer protocol although the recommended
guidelines for Breast Cancer Screening published by Qatar Breast Cancer
Screening clinic and the Qatar Cancer Society existed, not all participants
were aware of them. Somehow, some physicians stated that as long as women
didn’t give any complaint about their pain, they will not refer to the
mammogram. Besides, an Annual Breast Cancer Awareness and Pink Hijab Day were a
failure to involve the Healthcare Practitioners through the Breast Cancer
Screening effort.

            Furthermore,
time constraints was another challenge that always been discussed among the
physicians. Almost nine hours a day, there will be around 50 to 60 patients
that will run on a walk-in basis. According to a physician, they have not
enough time even to make a simple examination but they have to complete the
task of examining the patients. Moreover, time taken for each patient to do an
examination is about 7 to 10 minutes. That’s why they don’t have time for doing
any healthcare promotion because they have a lot of patients to handle and
Qatar is lacking of Physician. This is the reason why Qatar women are not aware
about the Breast Cancer Screening.

            Thus,
it’s not an uncommon to see an incomplete medical report because they do it in
paper form and didn’t computerize the report. In this situation, some of the
information is missing and it’s hard to find for referral notes. Sometimes, the
clinical staff can’t rely on a patient’s information because some women might
not disclose their family history of diseases that are stunned in the society
like cancer and mental illness. Even though there are risk factors, the
referral might be unclear because there is no complete record except for some
investigation results from Hamad Medical Corporation which were accessible
online.

            Moreover,
a cost for mammograms also can be a factor to the healthcare whereas some of
the participants believe that it is too expensive in Gulf area because some of
them couldn’t even pay for medication. In some situation, when a woman ask her
husband for a mammogram test for a breast cancer screening, their husband will
deny their wish because they can’t afford the cost of mammograms.

            Lastly,
transportation is also a factor why Arab Qatari’s women have the higher risk of
breast cancer because they don’t allow female to take transportation alone with
a male stranger except for emergency cases or urgent matter. 

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