This year’s Breast Cancer Awareness month marks another anniversary with a groundbreaking UCLA study, which revealed that the use of mammograms to screen for breast cancer is low among Muslim women. This study, funded by the Susan G. Komen Foundation and conducted by UCLA’s School of Public Health, revealed that 1 out of 5 Muslim women in the sample had never had a mammogram and that 1 out of 4 Muslim women had not gone for a mammogram in the past year. Breast cancer-specific mortality rates tend to be higher among Muslim women due to a lack of early detection.
Dr. Galal who headed the study offers the following recommendations to Muslim women:
- Mammograms are a safe and effective way to screen for breast cancer
- When detected early, breast cancer can be successfully treated
- Resources exist within each community for free mammogram screenings
- Muslim women should recognize that it is one of their duties to do all they can to protect their health for themselves and their family and there are no religious barriers to seeking breast health care. This attitude should be widely encouraged.
- Younger Muslim women are instrumental in encouraging all the women in their family to get early screening.
- Mosques can be used as centers where women educate each other about breast cancer prevention and the resources within their community (READ MORE)