Make it Happen! – Raising Awareness to Breast cancer
The Need – While the incidence of breast cancer in Israel has remained stable in Jewish women, it has increased by more than 600 percent since 1970 in Arab women according to research in 2012 by Rikaz – The Databank of the Arab Community. Arab women get sick at a younger age, are diagnosed at a more advanced stage and with a biologically more aggressive disease form than Jewish women. The same research found that 45 percent of Jewish women, compared to only 31 percent of Arab women, with breast cancer are diagnosed early (during Stage 1). Conversely, 43 percent of Arab women, compared to 31.4 percent of Jewish women, are diagnosed in advanced stages (during Stages 3 or 4). The ability of Arab women to make appropriate decisions regarding their health is negatively influenced by lower levels of understanding of the disease, social stigmas surrounding breast cancer, and a lack of awareness among health care professionals of the specific cultural challenges facing Arab women. Arab women have less access than Jewish women to relevant and quality information in their own language. Of the three national health clinics, only Clalit provides comprehensive materials in Arabic while the Israel Cancer Association does not publish any information at all. As a result, among Arab women – who lead more unhealthy lifestyles and suffer higher rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases – there is little awareness of the health risks of breast cancer and how life style choices can prevent cancer or support treatment. Further, Arab women are reluctant to discuss health issues surrounding breasts with their family physician and typically conceal their difficulties from the community.
Goal – The goal of the project is to increase the percentage of cases diagnosed in Stage 1, and decrease the incidence of breast cancer, among Arab women in Israel by minimizing the social, cultural and language barriers to breast cancer screening, early detection and care and promoting a healthier lifestyle.
Activities – The project is designed to address the numerous social, cultural and language barriers to cancer screening, early detection and care identified above.
GS conduct a public awareness campaign in the mainstream and social media in order to maximize exposure to accurate information about the disease and encourage a healthier lifestyle;
During this project the GS has conducted various awareness lectures in the Galilee area in collaboration with the differenc HMOs and NGOs on the disease and benefits of a healthy lifestyle;
Events that took place in localities such as Nazareth, Shefaram, Iksal, and Toraan
We prepare and disseminate printed materials in Arabic in cooperation with health services;