As the world marks the ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’ during October, OSN, the region’s leading pay-TV network, is rolling out a dedicated campaign throughout the month focused on strengthening awareness and encouraging the community to undertake early screening.
Building on its ‘Live More’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative that leverages the power of television and community engagement to promote wellness and bring positive change to people’s lifestyles, OSN is supporting the efforts of governments in the Middle East and North Africa region to address the rising incidence of breast cancer.
Several ‘Live More’ awareness videos that highlight breast cancer and the need for early screening have been developed by OSN, which are telecast through various channels as well as communicated over its social media platforms. Additionally, breast cancer survivors will share their stories through OSN’s own production ‘Saudi Doctors.’ The health and wellness programme will also feature several Arab celebrities endorsing the ‘Live More’ approach and driving awareness about breast cancer.
According to WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer and Cancer Research UK, breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer globally, accounting for 11.9%, next only to lung cancer at 13% of the total. However, in the West Asia region (comprising MENA countries), breast cancer leads in total cancer incidence at about 13.4% of the total. It is estimated that the region accounts for 42.76 cases of breast cancer per 100,000 adults as of 2012.
Breast cancer incidence in individual MENA countries are often much higher than this average with Lebanon at 78.68 cases per 100,000 adults, Jordan at 61.03 and Egypt at 49.5 cases per 100,000 people.
Research conducted in Saudi Arabia recently reports that late-stage diagnosis of breast cancer, which leads to greater mortality rates, are also the result of lack of information and timely care, thus underpinning the importance of awareness campaigns. OSN is taking the lead in building awareness about breast cancer with a particular focus on promoting early screening and healthier lifestyles.
OSN is also screening awareness videos on breast cancer through a ‘Pink House’ campaign across Saudi Arabia in partnership with Zahra Breast Cancer Association, a voluntary organisation. 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.
In addition to OSN Live More awareness videos, a special screening on E! channel called Pink Warrior will have celebrity TV host Giuliana Rancic talk about her battle with breast cancer in ‘Beyond Candid with Giuliana:Hope, Strength and Courage’. Further underlining the global support to the cause, TLC HD has rebranded the channel for breast cancer awareness for the entire month. Oprah Winfrey will speak to special guests Fergie and Jane Fonda in ‘Oprah’s Next Chapter’ and The Ellen DeGeneres show
will further communicate the message to a wide audience.
OSN 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.
The special Saudi Doctors episode on October 16 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 about the emotional, psychological and social support 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 Campaign 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 channels on OSN. 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.”
Several studies 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.
For more details on OSN’s ‘Live More,’ visit: www.osn.com/livemore