"Know_Me" is an online campaign that has been launched by the Breast Cancer Foundation of Egypt (BCFE). The campaign addresses the myths and misconceptions about breast cancer." Breast cancer is not a stigma or epidemic disease" Said Dr. Mohamed Shaalan, Chairperson of BCFE. Therefore, BCFE plays an effective role to fight against the stereotypes about the breast cancer patients and to change the social behavior towards them.
"Can I get infected from my wife?"
One of the main misconceptions is that breast cancer is an infectious disease however, this is totally incorrect.
Dr. Mohamed Shaalan, Professor of surgical Oncology at National Cancer Institute and Chairperson at the Breast Cancer Foundation of Egypt (BCFE) expresses that breast cancer is a non-communicable disease which means, that it could not be transmitted through droplets, direct contact or sexual contact. Since breast cancer is caused by abnormal cell divisions that grow to take a form of benign or malignant tumor, it could not be infectious. Unfortunately, many husbands avoid their wives with breast cancer not to get infected from them although women at that time desperately need emotional support from family and friends.
She has got breast cancer, surely god is punishing her!""
Sometimes, people refer that women who are diagnosed with breast cancer mush have done something wrong in the past.
Dr. Shaalan criticizes the deep-rooted thoughts and describes them as totally irrational ideas. Hence those who are diagnosed with breast cancer are chosen by Allah to test them and measure how strong they are. He adds that any breast cancer patient is a strong fighter who chooses to challenge the disease and beats it.
"Poor her, she will not be able to get married"
Some people feel pity for the breast cancer patients especially those who still young. They think that they have no chance to live a normal life as wives and mothers
"Get away from her; she is an ex-breast cancer patient".
Many patients and even survivors face discrimination in general and at work places in specific. Oftentimes, it is hard to take a leave for chemotherapy. Also, the patients are usually threatened to be released from work since the employers think that they will never get their productivity back.
She gets a radiation therapy, avoid her"."
Many people misconceive the radiotherapy since they think that the patient who gets it can be harmful to them. This is totally wrong! The radiotherapy targets only the tumor place to remove any remaining carcinogenic cells and, after that, no rays remain in the patient's body.
"She will die anyways"
People think that breast cancer will certainly lead to death and any treatment will be useless. In fact 98% of the breast cancer cases could be cured if they are detected early through regular checkups, Mammograms and self-examination.
Bottom line, Dr. Shaalan stresses on the significance of changing some misconceptions and stereotypes against women with breast cancer and thus we should do our best to offer them love, support and appreciation.