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WATCH: How Jordanian cancer patients in the UAE find inspiration through art


Abu Dhabi: An Abu Dhabi artist who has suffered from colorectal cancer for more than six years is raising awareness of the disease with a new exhibition in the capital.

Jordanian expatriate Ayman Awwad inaugurated his new exhibition at the capital’s Sheikh Shah Bout Medical City (SSMC).

“Art has helped me a lot during this difficult journey. It has healed my grief and inspired me with positivity and love for life that keeps me going. Art truly has the power to enable people to experience life beyond illness . My hope is that people with serious illnesses or cancer can find ways to enjoy life,” Awwad said.

Awwad with SSMC staff in the gallery

Image Credit: Supplied

“I discovered my passion for art in 8th grade at school when I first sketched for art class. My teachers took an interest in my drawing and developed my skills, inspiring me to use art as a Career. It was a turning point in my life,” he added.

Awwad was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2017 and has since undergone multiple surgeries and treatments. His new exhibition, featuring landscapes, abstract art and portraits, is open until March 24, which coincides with Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, which is held around the world in March.

Common Cancers in Men

Colorectal cancer usually begins as a benign polyp—a soft tissue growth—on the lining of the colon or rectum; over time, this slowly becomes cancerous. Colorectal cancer is the most common cancer among men in the UAE. Early detection can greatly improve treatment outcomes and increase the chances of cure, which is why routine screening is essential.

As a result, SSMC launched the Colorectal Cancer Campaign, urging residents 40 and older to undergo regular screening to increase the chances of early detection. The hospital also held a series of community talks in March to raise residents’ awareness of the disease and emphasize the need for regular screenings.

Advanced Detection Tools

“Colorectal cancer is often asymptomatic in its early stages. When symptoms do appear, they are often ignored for fear of discovering serious disease. At SSMC, improving the health and well-being of our community is an absolute priority. Our multidisciplinary team is on the same page Together, we will shed light on the importance of screening and the preventability of colorectal cancer,” said Dr. Michael Wallace, Director of the Division of Gastroenterology at SSMC.

Since its launch in April 2022, SSMC has screened more than 300 cases using the GI Genuis module, an artificial intelligence tool that simplifies the detection and removal of precancerous polyps during colonoscopy.

“SSMC is committed to improving the country’s healthcare delivery in line with Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030. Our team of experts is fully committed to safeguarding community health and Skill. As we work tirelessly to become a destination medical center, we remain committed to integrating sustainability into every step of our operations and providing our patients with the highest level of comprehensive and compassionate care,” said Deputy Chief said Dr Abdulqader Almessabi, Medical Officer and Advisor. SSMC’s Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

SSMC is the designated lead agency for cancer services within the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) network in Abu Dhabi.

female patient

To assuage their major concerns, the hospital even offers female patients the opportunity to be screened and treated for colorectal cancer by a team of specialists led by women, including female gastroenterologists, pathologists, radiologists, oncologists family and specialist nurses.


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