IMASA celebrates “Pink Hijab Day” – Breast Cancer Awareness

All praise and thanks is due to the Almighty, and peace and blessings upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

On the 25th October 2016, Voice of the Cape (VOC) in conjunction with Masjidul Quds hosted the Pink Hijab Day, an annual event to raise awareness about breast cancer. The Islamic Medical Association Western Cape Branch was invited to present on Breast Cancer Awareness and provide medical assistance with manual breast examinations.

Alhamdullilah, the event had tremendous support! In excess of 800 women filled the masjied to capacity with everyone dressed in stunning hues of pink, looking so serene and beautiful Ma’shAllah!

The programme commenced with an inspiring Thikr by Sheikh Abduragmaan Alexander. The Qiraah by Hafitha Mariam Gallie was hauntingly beautiful and everyone listened quietly and attentively. The survivors and families of survivors relayed their personal experiences battling breast cancer and the raw emotions expressed had the audience visibly moved!

Alhamdullilah, the IMASA, with a team of 9 medical volunteers and 2 support staff, screened 95 women who ranged in age from 15 to 77 years of age.

Abnormalities were detected in 6 women. These women were referred to the Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH) Breast Clinic for further evaluation. Women meeting the criteria for screening mammograms were referred either privately or to GSH.

Similarly, last year, 108 women were screened whilst abnormalities were found in 7 women. 2 out of these 7 women were finally diagnosed with cancer. One was a new diagnosis and the other was a recurrence of a previous breast cancer. May the Almighty grant them complete shif’a, AAMEEN.

For some elderly women this awareness programme was the first time they ever had a breast examination; this despite going regularly to the Day Hospital or their GP’s. Ladies were encouraged to request that at the least, a yearly breast examination is included in their general check-up.

Our health is an Amaanat, entrusted to us by the Almighty. Women by virtue of their innate compassion and kindness, are able to care for others so unselfishly, often sacrificing caring about themselves. Ladies, please remember to prioritise your health and well-being too!

The early detection of breast cancer cannot be emphasised enough! By the time the tumour is felt as a lump in the breast it has already doubled countless of times. The smaller the size of the tumour, the better the chances of survival and resultant quality of life. Women in whom breast cancer is diagnosed and correctly treated in the early stages have up to an 80% chance of being cancer free 10 years later Alhamdullilah. Early detection definitely saves lives!

I read something profound recently: “CANCER is a WORD, not a SENTENCE” The play on the word sentence can obviously be interpreted in different ways… “CANCER is not a LIFE SENTENCE”! To me the sentence can be written and completed by us. Our narrative can be a story of Hope, of Courage, of Resilience, of Increased Faith, and of Victory! Victory over Pain, over Fear, over Despair and the ultimate Victory. Victory in the knowledge and complete faith that our forbearance during times of trials and tests, will grant us closeness to our Creator, Alhamdullilah! Let us fight and conquer CANCER together Insha Allah!!

A special thanks goes to Aunty Rhoda of Elegant Muslimah, for so generously donating the stunning abaaya’s to the IMASA volunteers. Shukran to all the volunteers who sacrificed their time to be of assistance at the screening. May you be rewarded abundantly Inshaa Allah.

May the Almighty accept all our sincere efforts, and allow us to continually strive in service to the Almighty Insha Allah!

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