IN PHOTOS: Gaza Women Wear Pink to Raise Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast - Cancer CAPTION (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Mahmoud Ajjour – Gaza

Palestinian women in Gaza wore pink headscarves to raise awareness of the urgent need for early breast cancer detection, especially as cancer cases are on the rise throughout the besieged Gaza Strip. 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It was declared as such by major breast cancer charities to encourage regular scanning and early diagnosis, in addition to raising funds to help women across the world fight the deadly disease. 

But for cancer patients in Gaza, the challenge is compounded by the fact that the Strip is under an Israeli siege, and cancer patients are often denied permits to travel to the West Bank to receive proper treatment. 

The Gaza event was also an opportunity for women cancer patients to meet one another, and to engage their families and communities as they fight against numerous odds. 

The title of the activity was “Tsawarti?” – or  “Have you best scanned?”, as to urge Gazan women to seek early testing.

“Gaza women and girls are always taking photos and selfies, but they are also hesitant to scan for breast cancer,” Firyal Thabit, the director of the Women Health Center told the Palestine Chronicle. 

Thabit said that breast cancer is a terrible social brand here in Gaza, and “services are mostly lacking to deal with its health consequences. This is why it is essential for women to “seek an early diagnosis as it will help rectify the situation before it is too late.”

“Gaza women don’t receive their full rights to health care as a result of the Israeli military occupation. They are denied permits to go to Jerusalem where such treatment is available in the Mutali’ hospital,” Thabit added.

(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

– Mahmoud Ajjour is a Gaza-based photojournalist. He is the Palestine Chronicle’s correspondent in the Gaza Strip.

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