Barbara Nassar tackles taboo and raises awareness of Prostate Cancer

  • The Cancer Awareness Village is organised by Barbara Nassar with the support of Ministry of Health and the main sponsor Astellas amongst other partners
  • The car parade gave tribute to all cancer patients and drew attention to prostate cancer prevalence in Lebanon
  • Marcel Massoud hosted an educational session on prostate cancer

Beirut, Lebanon, 12th February 2019: Cancer is a growing concern across the world, with Lebanon being no exception as the population continues to age. To address the lack of awareness surrounding specific cancers and to educate the Lebanese public, Barbara Nassar with the support of the Lebanese Ministry of Health launched the first Cancer Awareness Village.

It is a first of its kind exhibition aimed to raise cancer awareness across Lebanon, it boasted a series of specialist lectures around the most prevalent cancers in the country, as well as physical and psychological activities such as Zumba, Laughter Yoga and Art Therapy to support healthy lifestyle. The finale to the three-day event hosted at Forum de Beyrouth was the car parade that gave tribute to all cancers, with specific attention being drawn to prostate cancer, where prevalence statistics were plastered on the side of the participating cars, catching the all-important attention of thousands of attendees and spectators.

Featured statistics revealed that alarmingly the annual prostate cancer related deaths in Lebanon are expected to increase by 48% come 2030, as compared with 2018[1]. With prostate cancer being the second most common of all cancers in Lebanon1, it is a pressing matter to ensure men and their families are well informed of the disease and its symptoms.

Understanding that some cancers receive more attention than others and knowing that prostate cancer awareness is weak throughout Lebanon, today the highly reputable Dr. Marcel Massoud, Head of Oncology Hematology Department at NDDS Hospital hosted a dedicated prostate cancer awareness lecture during which symptoms and ways for early diagnosis were discussed. Prostate cancer is a slow growing cancer and is treatable if detected early[2] therefore, it is imperative to increase disease awareness. As for men who are in the risk group (over the age of 55+ and/or have family history)[3] they should take control of their health and have a regular consultations with a physician specializing in prostate cancer treatment.

Hany Nassar, Founder and Vice President of Lebanese Patient Organization Barbara Nassar said: “We are overjoyed to have seen so many people come together in support and spirit of fighting cancer. With the aim to tackle taboo and spread awareness on the various types of cancer, its prevention and early detection, we hope to have encouraged the citizens of Lebanon not to fear this disease and as a result take proactive lead in living a healthy lifestyle whilst taking the needed steps to discover it at an early stage.”

Cancer is a devastating disease, with access to both information and medication being essential to ensure patients receive holistic care. Unfortunately, information in local language is limited throughout Lebanon and the Middle East therefore affecting the level of knowledge and awareness among public and patients alike. Astellas is one of the global leaders in oncology and it was great pleasure and privilege for the company to sponsor the Cancer Awareness Village initiative.

“In line with our ethos of ‘Changing Tomorrow’ we are extremely honoured to be part of this exceptional initiative, as it addresses two key issues: promotes proactive health management and creates a forum where current patients and/or their care takers can get answers to the questions they have. Patient focus is at the core of decision making at Astellas and we are committed to bringing value to cancer patients and their families, by turning innovative science to therapies, especially in the areas of highly unmet needs.” said Amr Seif, General Manager for Astellas Middle East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa.


About Astellas

Astellas Pharma Inc., based in Tokyo, Japan, is a company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. We focus on Urology, Oncology, Immunology, Nephrology and Neuroscience as prioritized therapeutic areas while advancing new therapeutic areas and discovery research leveraging new technologies/modalities. We are also creating new value by combining internal capabilities and external expertise in the medical/healthcare business. Astellas is on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into value for patients. For more information, please visit our websites at and


[1] GLOBOCAN 2018 (

[2] National Cancer Institute, SEER Fact Statistics, available at
Last accessed February 2019

[3] European Association of Urology, EAU – ESTRO – ESUR – SIOG Guidelines on Prostate Cancer 2016