Unhealthy lifestyle, poor nutrition, rapid and unplanned urbanization are some key factors responsible for increased burden of cancers among the poor and disadvantaged people. If no action is taken, deaths from cancer in the developing world are forecast to grow to nine million in 2030. Cancer causes around eight million deaths worldwide each year. Of these deaths, around 70%, are now occurring in the developing world. These views were expressed by experts at an awareness seminar held on the eve of World Cancer Day with theme ‘We Can-I Can’ held recently in Karachi. The Seminar was jointly organized by KIRAN Hospital, Dr. Essa Laboratories and Medionix, Medical & Social Welfare Committee Arts Council of Pakistan at Arts Council.
Speakers included Director KIRAN Hospital Dr. Akhtar Ahmed, Consultant Clinical Oncologist KIRAN Dr. Asghar, Consultant General & Breast Surgeon Liaquat National Hospital Prof. Rufina Soomro, ENT Surgeon at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital & Chairman Medical & Social Welfare Committee Arts Council Dr. Qaisar Sajjad, Director Health Karachi Dr. Zafar Aijaz, Sabeeha Essa Vice Chairman Dr. Essa Laboratories, Dr. Farhan Essa and Dr. Mehboob. Senator Haseeb Khan was the chief guest on this occasion.
Senator Haseeb Khan speaking as the Chief Guest deplored health status of the nation and urged people to take care of their health themselves first. People should take complete sleep and avoid use of cold drinks. “Awareness programs are very helpful to inform public about prevention and treatment of various disease including cancers. More than 2.7 billion industries are polluting the planet in the world,” he told.
Director Health Karachi Dr. Zafar Aijaz told that at district level he is formulating a district action plan to build capacity of lady health workers and later utilize this force to make common people aware of health issues and prevention.
Dr. Akhtar Ahmed told that considering the potential of delivering the effective cancer care, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission has over the period, established 18 medical centres spread all over country. These medical centres provide best quality care to the patients with cancer by using the technology of Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Oncology.
Prof. Rufina Soomro from LNH spkeaing on burden of breast cancer and early diagnosis, informed that breast cancer is the commonest cancer in women worldwide. Pakistan has the highest incidence of breast cancer in Asia. As compare to West we see women at younger age, at least a decade earlier than West. Other thing is that we see women at an advanced stage, which becomes a challenge for treating doctors, she deplored.
Talking on “Oral Cancer-A menace of Society” Dr. Qaisar Sajjad ENT Surgeon told that number of cases are increasing geometrically in Pakistan. Almost 45-50 percent people are suffering from oral cancer or cancer related diseases in Asia as compared to only 2-4 percent in Europe. Main cause of oral cancer are eating chalia, tobacco in any form (smoking, shisha, chewing), toxic fumes, artificial colour used in sweats, suparis etc.
Dr. Qaisar Sajjad said that we can easily eliminate oral cancer after banning import of chalia, and also ban on smoking cigarette, shisha, etc. particularly at public places.
Sabeeha Essa Vice Chairman Dr. Essa Laboratories and Dr. Farhan Essa said awareness activities are very important and a tool to create awareness among masses on various health related topics and they are also playing their part in this regard.