Breast cancer stigma should be broken, survivor says

ABU DHABI // When Roshka discovered a lump in her breast, she had a nagging feeling about it. “I was very nervous,” she said. “I did not know why, but I had a feeling it was cancer. When I went to the doctor, I was hoping she would tell me it was not,” she said. […]

ABU DHABI // When Roshka discovered a lump in her breast, she had a nagging feeling about it.

“I was very nervous,” she said. “I did not know why, but I had a feeling it was cancer. When I went to the doctor, I was hoping she would tell me it was not,” she said.

The 28-year-old Palestinian, who lives in Abu Dhabi, was diagnosed last year and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Her cancer was found to be between stages II and III.

Initially, one of her aunts advised her not to tell others that she had the disease.

“I believe that this stigma should be broken,” Roshka said.

She had a mammogram, and now tells others to be tested even if they are young. Her diagnosis affected the view of others in her family.

“I think every woman in my family got tested after I got diagnosed with breast cancer,” the mother of a four-year-old said.

Roshka described how at first she felt a lack of personal care from her doctors.

“I despaired and lost hope when I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” she said, until she went to a government hospital and found a doctor who “gave her hope”.

She believed that social views must also change for patients to get the support they need.

“I know lots of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer and only in two cases did women get abandoned

by their husbands,” said Roshka.

“There are many awareness campaigns but you need a way to change people’s mentality.”

arizvi2@thenational.ae

Source: uae news

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