Professor Karl Alexander Knuth, Medical Director and Chief Executive Officer of Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR), says Qatar has made significant efforts to reduce the impact of cancer on the country’s population.
“Qatar has made a commitment to prioritize actions to address cancer in line with the plans set out in Qatar’s national health strategies. Improvements such as the implementation of vaccination programs which prevent infections that cause cervical and liver cancer, improved access to screening programs for breast and bowel cancers, and tobacco taxation, regulation and control are all actions designed to reduce the burden of cancer in the country,” said Professor Knuth, who is also Chairman of Cancer Services at HMC.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and was responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Worldwide, around one in six deaths is due to cancer. In Qatar, the most recent data released by the Qatar National Cancer Registry shows that in 2015 there were 1,465 new patients diagnosed with cancer, of which 44 percent were female and 56 percent male.
Dr. Mohammed Ussama Al Homsi, Senior Consultant, Oncology Department, NCCCR said World Cancer Day provides an opportunity to highlight the importance of cancer prevention and detection strategies and also to raise awareness of treatment options.
“World Cancer Day represents a unique opportunity to draw attention to what can be done to address cancer and to prevent millions of deaths,” said Dr. Al Homsi.
“Around one-third of common cancers are preventable and millions of lives could be saved globally each year by implementing resource-appropriate strategies for prevention, early detection, and treatment. For this reason, as oncology experts we urge people to take a positive and proactive approach in the fight against cancer,” added Dr. Al Homsi.
To mark World Cancer Day, HMC is holding a number of activities aimed at raising awareness about the importance of cancer prevention and early detection. Planned activities also aim to dispel myths about cancer that can adversely affect people’s attitude toward accessing early diagnosis, treatment, and care. Dr. Al Homsi said he hopes World Cancer Day will be a springboard for positive change.
“Through our planned activities, we aim to increase awareness of the risk factors for cancer, such as tobacco use, being overweight, eating an unhealthy diet, and lack of physical activity. The focus is also on making the public aware of available screening programs, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, and cancer care available here in Qatar. World Cancer Day provides an opportunity to reflect on what each of us as individuals can do to reduce the impact of this devastating disease, now, and in the future,” said Dr. Al Homsi.
For details on HMC’s World Cancer Day activities, please follow our social media channels: Facebook/hamadmedicalcorporation, Twitter/@HMC_Hamad, and Instagram/HMC_Qatar.