Complex Made Simple

NCP launches Breast Cancer Awareness smartphone app

The National Cancer Program (NCP), a collaboration between the Supreme Council of Health, Hamad Medical Corporation and Primary Health Care Corporation, has launched its smartphone application ‘Monthlies’, now available for free download on iTunes and Google Store. The new offering is part of the program’s “Be Breast Aware” Campaign which will run throughout October to celebrate Breast Awareness month.

Monthlies is the first period tracker app in the world provided in both the English and Arabic language; a feature NCP pushed to provide for the sake of reaching a wider audience to raise awareness about breast cancer.

According to experts, breast cancer is among the most common form of the disease among women in Qatar, affecting many women each year. However, research has shown that early detection of breast cancer offers better, more successful treatment options and so saves thousands of lives each year. For this reason, NCP took the initiative to create Monthlies, a smartphone application targeting young women to help them become more breast-aware and encourage early detection.

Available in both the Arabic and English language, the app is mainly designed as a period tracker app, which helps women keep track of their monthly cycle. After every cycle, the application sends notifications with gynecological and breast advice. Moreover, the app offers a step-by-step guide for being breast aware, including what to look for and how to look it, that is helpful in the process of breast cancer early detection.

On behalf of NCP, Ambika Anand, Senior Consultant Breast Surgeon at HMC, commented, “The launch of NCP’s Monthlies application is a very big step to raise awareness about breast cancer among young women. A wide-spread misconception is that breast cancer is only common among women over the age of 50, however, women younger than this are presenting with breast cancer. Therefore every woman, regardless of her age, should be aware of her breast’s health and be regularly checking for any irregularities for her. It is important to recognise that the breasts change throughout the monthly cycle, particularly that they become more lumpy during the period, so it is important for women to know how they look and feel throughout the duration of their cycle but especially just after their period. The prompt scheduled within the app reminds women to be breast aware 2 days after the period. It is hoped that a woman with a better understanding of breast health and knowing what is normal for her will give her the confidence to identify changes that are not normal for her. Women with concerns should seek advice from their Primary Care Doctor in the first instance.”

The “Be Breast Aware” Campaign is the second major initiative launched by NCP after the ongoing Cancer Myth Refutation Campaign that aims to dispel common misconceptions about cancer. The campaign has also released promotional posters in female gyms across Doha to enhance the awareness of the app and encourage download. Other “Be Breast Aware” activities will be taking place during the month of October in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.