This project started in 1990 with the first Mammography Unit in Palestine. The Project has evolved over the years to include community based lectures
and educational materials
on breast health (promoting self examination, early detection) and professional training for doctors, nurses and mammography technicians (a UNFPA funded project through the Ministry of Health, Palestine), in addition to the research and production of the National Guidelines for Breast Cancer Screening
The Sunrise Group
Sunrise Cancer Group with art therapist , Jerusalem 2014
This is the first support group in Palestine for women living with cancer, established in 2000.
Breast cancer is the #1 cancer in Palestinian women accounting for approximately 35.4% of all female cancers. Unfortunately, it is often the case that women present with breast tumors at an advanced stage which adversely affects their prognosis.
The group started with a few members who wanted to help others get support during their journeys with breast cancer. Over the years the group has continued to grow, also supporting women from the West Bank and Gaza.
These very special women are advocates and teachers in their communities, changing the attitudes of people and trying to remove the ‘stigma’ of cancer. They attend lectures and workshops in addition to presenting at such events. They have spoken on local TV and radio too. Their participation and commitment are vital in our work to inform and change the image of cancer amongst the population. During our production of health educational materials they often contribute and help with editing.
Any woman is welcome to join the Group which has an elected representative and is coordinated by a staff member from Patient’s Friends Society-Jerusalem.
Membership is free.
Goals of the Group:
- Breaking the silence
- Promoting awareness and early detection about breast cancer
- Psycho-social support for women with cancer
Reach to Recovery
Sunrise Cancer Group members during the group activity , Jerusalem 2014
Some members of the Sunrise Group have been trained in the Reach to Recover program which has given them with the knowledge and skills to provide psychosocial support for women and their families.
PFS is also a member of Reach to Recovery International and The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).
PFS manages a Hotline staffed by trained Sunrise Group members and staff. This service began in 2002 and is supported by donations.
Our breast cancer unit offers bras, prostheses and wigs which help many women cope. In addition, we are pleased to offer the women lymphoedema massage and exercise sessions.
Income generation is a key function of the breast cancer unit. The Sunrise Group holds fundraising events such as breakfasts and lunches and have commissioned the production of Palestinian hand embroidered key rings, eye glass cases and purses with the breast cancer logo to raise money to help support their activities.
International Women’s Day
PFS & the Sunrise Group work together to promote prevention and early detection by engaging local radio stations, newspapers and clubs to promote breast health awareness.
Sunrise Cancer Group members during world cancer day at Hebron University, 2014