Posted on October 17, 2016

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Mrs. Manal Ihsane El Badaoui (pictured), a 37-year-old mother of two, has agreed to share her story about her experience as a breast cancer patient at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).

Mrs. Manal was diagnosed with breast cancer one year ago. With no family history of breast cancer, Mrs. Manal’s cancer was initially detected when she noticed a lump in her right breast. She went for an ultrasound and was then referred for a mammogram which was followed by further screenings and a biopsy.

The biopsy detected breast cancer and Mrs. Manal was diagnosed with stage 3, grade 2 Infiltrative Ductal Carcinoma in her right breast. Unfortunately, this type is one of 15 percent of breast cancers which do not show up on a mammogram and are frequently at an advanced stage when diagnosed. Speaking about her experience with HMC, she said, “My experience with HMC has been great. The referral system is very organized, and the Advanced Clinical Nurse Specialists and the rest of the staff are all experienced, competent and very friendly. The modern facilities are very impressive and the doctors and nurses see me quickly at each appointment. All these attributes make me feel very comfortable and at ease during my treatment.”

Mrs. Manal also highlighted the importance of having the support of her family and friends, explaining how she could not have got through the tough moments in her fight against breast cancer without the prayers, wishes and support of all the people around her. In her message to raise awareness of breast cancer, Ms. Manal said: “If there is anything that I could say to other women going through a similar experience I would tell them to know that they have the strength within them to get through each challenge.  Breast cancer is something that happens to you and does not need to define you. The sooner you detect breast cancer, the greater your chances of survival are. It is, therefore, important to get the message out to everyone and help save lives. “

She continued: “I believe in being proactive, adopting a healthy lifestyle, following a proper diet, going for yearly mammograms and carrying out regular self-examinations. Ultimately, even if you cannot prevent breast cancer, you can minimize the chance of it developing and also lessen its impact on your life.” Breast cancer can affect people’s lives in different ways, depending on the stage it is at, the type of treatment being received and where this is taking place yet it is not a death sentence. Something positive can be found in everything and women should bear in mind Manal’s experience when trying to find it. Staying upbeat can be crucial to overcoming any health issue and it is important for women to channel all their energy towards staying positive and focusing on what is coming next.

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