Cancer association launches annual fund-raiser
Israeli women have fifth-highest breast cancer rate among advanced countries, but death tolls declining.
President Shimon Peres and ICA volunteer Photo: Mark Neiman/GPO
The disparity in the rate of mammography screening that existed between Jewish
and Arab Israelis has been eliminated, thus reducing the mortality rate of
breast cancer in Arab women – but haredi and immigrant women are still five to
10 percent less likely to go for a breast exam than the rest of the
This was revealed on Sunday by the Israel Cancer Association,
which held a press conference announcing that its annual Knock on the Door
fund-raising campaign will be held on Monday, October 22 and that Breast Cancer
Awareness Month has begun.
This year’s chairman of the ICA campaign is
headed by Dudi Weissman, president of the Alon Group. He and ICA officials
appeared at the President’s Residence on Sunday to mark the launching of the
Weissmann, an important donor to the effort whose businesses
are supporters of the associations’s work to help cancer patients and their
families, noted that the ICA’s 52nd fund-raising campaign was more necessary
than ever because the voluntary organization receives no government
Israel is the fifth among 19 Western countries for breast
cancer prevalence – after Belgium, Denmark, France and the Netherlands – but
fortunately, death rates from the tumor in Israelis are in ninth place and
It was also announced that women who had already been
diagnosed with breast cancer and had it treated have a 24% risk of contracting
any kind of cancer.
The ICA is also considering the possibility of
recommending that all women be screened for defective BRCA genes that
significantly raise the risk of contracting breast cancer, especially at young
ages, and that only 30% of women who are entitled to genetic screening by their
health fund actually do so.
Research has shown the the number of deaths
prevented by mammography is significantly higher than the number of women who
were over-diagnosed and over-treated as a result of the breast scan.
experts also said it would be possible to prevent 5,000 deaths a year from
cancer by people adopting a healthy lifestyle of exercise, proper diet and
non-smoking, as well as early screening of common diseases.
in the Knock On the Door campaign will be used to purchase advanced medical
equipment for medical institutions that treat cancer patients, fund oncology
research, develop screening projects, finance nurses and social workers in
community clinics and hospitals and carry out other work.
are 200,000 Israelis who have been treated for, or cured of cancer and 28,000
new cases, including 400 children, each year. Today, 75% of children with
Dr. Lital Boker-Keinan, head of the Israel Cancer
Registry and deputy director of the Health Ministry’s Center for Disease
Control, said that breast cancer is the most common malignant tumor in
One out of every 7.5 Jewish women and one in 14 Arab women will
have breast cancer during their lifetimes.
After an increase in the 90s,
the breast cancer rate in Jewish women has become stable since 2000, while as
Arab women live a more Westernized lifestyle, their rate has risen. But recovery
rates are higher due to early detection and treatment.
Lung cancer is the
deadliest in men and breast cancer in women, while colorectal cancer is number
two in both sexes.
Numerous studies have shown that working night shifts
increases the breast cancer in women and various types of cancer, including
colorectal, lung, prostate, bladder and pancreatic and non-hodgkin’s lymphoma,
in men. The blame is put mainly on exposure to artificial light at night, when
the natural hormone melatonin should be produced in the brain in darkness. But
the ICA said that more research is needed to pin down the
President Shimon Peres, hosting the opening of the ICA campaign
at his residence, said he hopes every Israeli will contribute to it.
of the ways to cure cancer is hope, and you volunteers rescue cancer patients
from their great loneliness and give them warmth, attention and hope.”