Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – 16 October: VPS Healthcare, an integrated healthcare solution provider with a network of hospitals and chain of clinics has achieved a Guinness World Records title for the largest simultaneous self-examination for breast cancer on Oct. 15, with 971 women participating at the Convention Center at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi. This achievement is part of the healthcare provider’s CSR initiative to raise awareness and provide education about breast cancer.
This event was conducted under the patronage of Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bint Khaled Al Qasimi- Minister of International Cooperation and Development, President of Zayed University.
The previous record was held by the Amazons Association in Warsaw, Poland, achieved on Sept. 8 2012 and consisting of 380 participating women.
Breast cancer is one of the leading cancers in the UAE, and many cases are discovered in the advanced stages, compared to Western countries where the disease is typically discovered in earlier, more treatable stages.
“Women are an integral part of our community and play an important role in the maintenance of both family and society,” said Vinay Batra-CEO Diagnostic Services, VPS Healthcare. “The impact of the disease, unfortunately, is far greater than the statistics available on diagnosis. Many women are reluctant to have a breast exam because they fear a cancer diagnosis may lead to a mastectomy. Through these kinds of awareness campaigns, we are trying to create a paradigm shift in women’s perspectives on prevention, since early detection of the disease is the key to survival.”
The most common symptoms of breast cancer are the presence of lumps in the breast. “There are four stages of breast cancer,” said Dr. Eshrak Al Attar, LLH hospital Abu Dhabi, “and detection in the early stages vastly increases the chances of survival compared to detection in stage four.”
After an educational session was administered and the self-examination was completed, Ms. Turath Alsaraf, Director of the Records Management Team at the UK-based Guinness World Records, announced the results in front of hundreds of the female participants, awarding VPS Healthcare the title for holding the largest simultaneous self-examination for breast cancer in history.
“It was very impressive to see the enthusiasm of so many women eager to participate in something exciting – but also incredibly important,” said Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, Managing Director, VPS Healthcare. “Breast cancer continues to remain outside the public conversation, and this has become a major impediment to early detection and subsequent treatment. Given this reality, it’s a great feeling and we are delighted to achieve this record and see high level of public participation.”
Ms. Elsa Oommen, Nursing Director, VPS Healthcare, was present during the examination, and explained: “The event comprised of educational session by leading healthcare experts about process of self-examination and importance of early detection. It provided an engaging platform for all participants through entrainment and fun filled demonstrations.”
“It’s very important to detect cancer before it reaches the later stages,” said Turath Al Saraf, Director of the Records Management Team for Guinness World Records, “therefore it was very significant that over two times as many women attended today as in the previous record. They became aware of how to perform the exam, and can now spread the knowledge on to others.”
Mr. Batra concluded: “VPS Healthcare team extends its sincere thanks to all those who participated in the self-examination, including the various corporate and women welfare organizations, for their support in creating world record. We at VPS Healthcare endeavor to create a sustainable healthcare delivery system, and part of supporting this goal is raising awareness and making available education on how to best keep one’s self healthy.”