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Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City hosts art exhibition during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal cancer is the most common cancer among UAE men

SSMC has revived its advocacy efforts by reviving its colorectal cancer campaign ‘You can prevent, we can treat’ and conduct awareness talks in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: To commemorate Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month (March), Sheikh Shah al-But Medical City (SSMC), one of the largest hospitals in the The joint venture launched an art exhibition today aimed at raising awareness about colorectal cancer.

Open to the public on the ground floor of SSMC’s Inpatient Building until March 24, the art exhibition is the result of a close collaboration between SSMC and Emirati artist Ayman Awwad, who suffers from colorectal cancer. With the theme of “The Healing Power of Art”, the exhibition showcases a diverse mix of landscape painting, abstract art and portraiture.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Awwad said: “I discovered my passion for art in eighth grade when I first sketched for art class. My teachers took a keen interest in my drawing and nurtured me skills, inspired me to pursue art as a career. It was a turning point in my life.”

Ayman Awwad, 56, has been suffering from colorectal cancer since 2017 and has undergone multiple surgeries and treatments. Mr Awad, who is still battling his illness, explained: “Art has helped me a lot during this difficult journey; I keep going. Art really has the power to enable people to experience life beyond illness. I hope that people with serious illnesses or cancer can find ways to enjoy life.”
Under the banner “You Can Prevent, We Can Cure,” SSMC has relaunched its Colorectal Cancer Campaign, urging residents 40 and older to undergo regular screening to increase the chances of early detection. As part of the event, SSMC will be hosting a series of community talks throughout the month to educate the public on the importance of screening and early detection.

Colorectal cancer usually begins as a benign polyp — a soft tissue growth — that forms on the lining of the colon or rectum and slowly becomes cancerous over time. It is the most common cancer among UAE men. Routine screening is essential, as early detection can greatly improve treatment outcomes and increase the chance of cure.

Dr. Michael Wallace, Chair of the Division of Gastroenterology at SSMC, commented on the importance of raising awareness of the disease, saying: “Colorectal cancer often has no symptoms in its early stages. When symptoms do occur, they are often overlooked for fear of finding serious disease .At SSMC, improving the health and well-being of our community is an absolute priority. Our multidisciplinary team is working together to illuminate the importance of screening and how preventable colorectal cancer is.”

To raise awareness of this type of cancer in the UAE, SSMC experts will be delivering awareness talks and health advice at Abu Dhabi Community Centers throughout the month of March.

SSMC continues to invest in cutting-edge technology. GI Genius is an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven tool that enhances visualization and simplifies the detection and removal of precancerous polyps during colonoscopy. Since its launch in April 2022, SSMC has screened more than 300 cases using the GI Genuis module and will enhance its capabilities with the latest software and technology updates to further influence the results.

Commenting on SSMC’s patient-centred approach, Dr Abdulqader Almessabi, Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Advisor, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, SSMC said, “SSMC is committed to elevating healthcare delivery in the country in line with Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 .Our team of experts is fully committed to maintaining the health of our community through ongoing health literacy campaigns focused on preventive medicine and the application of innovative approaches and technologies.As we work tirelessly to become a destination medical center, we remain Committed to integrating sustainability into every step of our operations and providing the highest level of comprehensive and compassionate care for our patients.”

As the Designated Head of Cancer Services within the SEHA network, and as part of its commitment to putting patients’ needs first, SSMC also provides female patients with access to a team of specialists led by women. The multidisciplinary team is comprised of highly qualified female gastroenterologists, pathologists, radiologists, oncologists and specialist nurses who are committed to meeting the needs of female patients, providing them with more privacy and person-centred care.

About Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC)
Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC) is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi Healthcare Services Company (SEHA), the UAE’s largest healthcare network, and the Mayo Clinic, a US-based not-for-profit global leader in healthcare, education and research. Established in 2019, SSMC is the largest tertiary hospital in the UAE, under the mandate of Abu Dhabi’s 2030 Economic Vision, to improve the level of healthcare services in the country.

SSMC provides care in 44 specialties, supported by the latest diagnostic and treatment modalities available. A team of locally and internationally trained physicians and allied health personnel work together seamlessly to facilitate comprehensive interdisciplinary learning, making SSMC the region’s leading center for integrated patient-centred healthcare.

A leading tertiary care facility in the region, SSMC has 742 beds, 18 operating theaters including a hybrid operating room, 26 neonatal intensive care units and the largest pathology laboratory in the UAE.

For more information or to make an appointment at Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City, visit https://ssmcabudhabi.ae/.

About SEHA
Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC–SEHA – is an independent public joint stock company with the aim of developing the therapeutic activities of the public healthcare system in Abu Dhabi. The company owns and operates all public hospitals and clinics in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

SEHA is part of ADQ, one of the largest holding companies in the region with a broad portfolio of major businesses covering key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy.

SEHA is committed to continuous improvement of customer service to meet recognized international standards and to provide world-class healthcare services to the community. SEHA operates 13 hospitals with 3,385 beds, 70 outpatient clinics, home care and urgent care centers and 2 blood banks. Its facilities accommodate 117,162 inpatients, perform 43,262 procedures and treat more than 5 million outpatients annually. SEHA is one of the largest integrated healthcare providers in the Middle East, with more than 18,000 doctors, nurses, paramedics and administrative staff. Learn more at www.seha.ae.

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