Alarm bells over a life-threatening disease

WAM Dubai, 7th Feb. 2014 (WAM) – The recent report by the World Health Organisation that cancer cases are expected to increase by 70 per cent over the next two decades is extremely alarming, to say the least. The number of new cases a year are expected to hit 25 million over the next 20 years, a UAE paper said on Friday.

The impact on developing countries is major. For instance, with a million new cases being reported every year, cancer seems to be tightening its grip on India. Experts say the incidence of the killer disease is expected to rise five-fold by 2025, The Gulf Today wrote in its editorial.

The Sharjah-based paper said:”India has around three million cancer patients and one million new patients are added every year. One million cancer patients die every year, mainly due to lack of palliative care from the medical community and their families, oncologists said.

The causes of such a high incidence of cancer may be both internal like genetic, hormonal and poor immune conditions as well as external or environmental like food habits, industrialisation, over growth of population and lifestyle.

Ignorance among the public and delayed diagnosis are some of the causes that have given cancer the dubious distinction of being a “killer disease”.

However, the fact remains that if cancer is detected in its early stages, it can be treated and an individual can lead a healthy life.

Proper palliative care can improve the quality of life of cancer patients. It is vital to raise awareness about common types of cancer and their symptoms among the general public. It is also important to know that food plays a pivotal role in cancer prevention.

The Pink Caravan drive against breast cancer is laudable in this regard. Pink Caravan’s theme for this year is “Dispelling the Myths” which falls in line with Union for International Cancer Control’s (UICC) theme for World Cancer Day.

The “Pink Caravan Ride” will start from Sharjah on Feb.15, passing through Dubai and Al Ain, and will conclude in the capital city, Abu Dhabi, on the 25th of the month. The Pink Caravan aims to highlight the importance of regular screenings and early detection and the need to dispel the social stigma, inhibitions and myths surrounding breast cancer.

Ameera BinKaram, President of the Board of Trustees and a founding member of the Friends of Cancer Patients society (FoCP), said, “Over the past three years, the Pink Caravan Ride has achieved success, with 22,877 patients including 5,450 men having been screened since the initiative was launched in 2011. Pink Caravan continues its mission to contain breast cancer which statistics reveal, has been the second most significant factor for high mortality in women in the UAE.” WAM/tfaham

Leave a Reply