What was the inspiration behind founding Baheya?
Baheya, was inspired by Lady Baheya Wahby, who is the namesake of the hospital. After losing a long battle with breast cancer, Baheya’s family, decided to transform her villa into a cancer hospital, which they later donated to an NGO shortly before it became the Baheya Foundation.
What are Baheya’s current CSR activities?
Baheya works with different corporates throughout the year; these activities could be in the form of celebrity visits to the hospitals, or special days for patients. We are also supported by a number of companies who help us in financing the ongoing treatment of breast cancer patients. It is important to note that Baheya Hospital is 100% percent free and relies heavily on the financial support of both individuals and companies.
How is the donated money invested?
We give our donors a say in the way their money is invested and it usually goes to one of three options: patient treatment including radio and chemotherapy, financing the purchase of new machines which are used to help diagnose the presence of breast cancer, or towards the new hospital expansion. Our hope is to be able to complete the new hospital expansion so that we can also provide operations at Baheya, rather than our patients having to go to government hospitals and then be transferred to us.
What are your research priorities?
Since statistics in Egypt are not historically very accurate or transparent, we are working on publishing more accurate statistics on the exact number of patients and the percentage of women receiving regular checkups compared with those diagnosed with the disease. We have already presented several research papers at some of most prestigious international medical conferences and hope that these statistics will help the world’s brightest minds in drawing closer to a permanent cure for the disease.
Does Baheya currently help male victims of breast tumours?
At present this is not a service we offer; however, we are ready to support the diagnosis of males with potential breast tumors and are also looking into the possibility of supporting the diagnosis and treatment of other forms of cancer, considering that Baheya offer some of the most advanced treatment tools in the field of cancer.
How can awareness help in preventing breast cancer?
Breast cancer is more than 95% treatable if detected in the early stages, this is the message we are trying to get across to the general public. In terms of prevention, the best way to prevent breast cancer is through regular check-ups, women over 40 who are the highest risk group are recommended to come in for a check-up at least once a year. Additionally, women with a family history of the disease should also commit to the same regular check-up. We also provide information on how women can do self check-ups and understand what are regular lumps and those that are potentially dangerous or abnormal.
What are the precautions that should be taken by every woman against breast cancer?
There is no scientific evidence on the exact cause of cancer. The general tips are to eat healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle, things such as obesity and smoking have in several studies been suggested to have a link with higher chances of developing cancer, and therefore regular exercise and not smoking are also recommended. We also advocate the importance of regular self-checks and reaching out to experts in case of feeling any changes in the breast shape, color or texture.
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