SAUDI ARABIA

Cancer cases to quadruple in 20 years, experts warn

Conference seeks to intensify campaigns for early detection awareness

December 27, 2017
One of the experts giving a presentation at the annual World Cancer Conference organized by the Saudi Cancer Society in the Eastern Province.
One of the experts giving a presentation at the annual World Cancer Conference organized by the Saudi Cancer Society in the Eastern Province.

Saudi Gazette report

DAMMAM
— Doctors and oncologists fear that cancer rates will quadruple in the Middle East over the next 20 years as a result of growing lifestyle changes and their negative effects on individuals and society. They called for intensified early detection awareness campaigns as late detection can minimize the chances of recovery, and increase the costs of diagnosis and treatment, which may reach billions of riyals, Al-Hayat newspaper reported.

At the annual World Cancer Conference, organized jointly by the Saudi Cancer Society in the Eastern Province, Johns Hopkins Center and Saudi Aramco, Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Shehri, a cancer consultant at the National Guard Hospital in Riyadh, explained that the methods of dealing with cancer have changed significantly in the last five years. There are more therapeutic options to diagnose and treat the disease, in addition to alternatives to chemotherapy with more effective drugs that have fewer side effects.

He underlined the importance of early detection of breast cancer, and encouraged women to have regular checkups. He said 28 out of every 100,000 women in the Kingdom get diagnosed with breast cancer.

Medical Director of the Saudi Cancer Society in the Eastern Province Dr. Mohammed Al-Sayes pointed out that breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in the Kingdom accounting for 19 percent of all cases of tumors. However, more than 65 percent of Saudi women patients get diagnosed in advanced stages of the disease.

While the Ministry of Health has said the rate of cancer cases will increase four times in the Middle East over the next 20 years, but recent therapeutic developments have given hope to patients. It has become possible for women to heal breast cancer and return to normal life.

Dr. Arwa Nabhan of King Fahd Specialist Hospital in Dammam confirmed said the treatment of chronic leukemia has seen major developments in recent years, transforming it from an incurable disease only into a disease that can be cured with the help of guided treatments, which is a breakthrough in the treatment of tumors in general, and blood cancer in particular. She said studies have shown improved survival rates for patients by up to 90 percent.

Dr. Arwa Al-Yamani, consultant in blood diseases at the National Guard Hospital in Jeddah, warned against the risks of the Mediterranean sea anemia (Thalassemia), which is one of the most serious genetic diseases in the Kingdom.

The conference, entitled "Cancer Warriors ... Achievements and Challenges", was inaugurated by Prince Saud Bin Naif. It brought together a group of consultant doctors and specialists from the Kingdom and abroad with many existing cancer patients and survivors of the disease.


December 27, 2017
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