60% of lung cancer patients in UAE are smokers — expert
25 January 2010
Dubai: Lung cancer is the most common cancer among Arab men and the only way to tackle this is for men to give up smoking, a medical institution in Dubai has warned.
A report released on World Cancer Day on Saturday by the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies points out that cancer is the third-leading cause of deaths in the UAE. But researchers note that cancer causes more deaths in the country than heart disease or traffic accidents. The centre also warns that breast cancer and thyroid cancers are the most common cancers among women in the region.
"Due to social customs women do not present themselves for regular medical examination and this usually leads in late diagnosis," it said. Arab women are suffering from breast cancer in their thirties and that is at least 10 years earlier than the world average, the centre said.
The Genomics Centre noted there is a lack of national strategies to treat or prevent cancers in the Arab communities. The primary objective of World Cancer Day is to promote awareness of cancer and to encourage early prevention, detection and treatment. Cancer specialists in the UAE have also warned that there is still a low awareness about the dangers of smoking, including the shisha, which is also popular among Arab women.
"Sixty per cent of lung cancer patients in the UAE are smokers," one oncologist has said. Most of these cases are detected at a very late stage. The centre said that despite rapid improvements in the health care sector, the "dramatic socio-economic changes" in the region have drastically modified lifestyles contributing to increased incidence of cancers.
The centre which is affiliated to the Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences, pointed out that there are 55 kinds of cancers among Arab people. The World Health Organisation (WHO) notes that a sluggish lifestyle and the increasing trend of eating junk food are contributory factors causing cancer around the world.
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