Sami Abdel Raouf (Dubai)
The Emirates Oncology Society revealed that a Gulf study in which the UAE participated showed that about 60% to 80% of cases in the Arab Gulf region are currently diagnosed in advanced stages of lung cancer.
The results also showed a reduced five- to 10-year survival rate in 20% of cases, and in more than 90% of cases, the cancer had spread outside the lung at diagnosis.
The Emirates Cancer Society organized, during this November, the global awareness month for lung cancer, many awareness events virtual and through social media, aimed at encouraging early examination of lung cancer for smokers, and spreading the phrases to stop smoking.
Cooperation was also made with the Emirates Lung and Thoracic Society to organize a different awareness campaign, which included a drone display that drew awareness phrases about lung cancer in the sky of Dubai, including encouraging early examination and a contact number to find out information about lung cancer.
Professor Humaid bin Harmal Al Shamsi, President of the Emirates Oncology Society and Director of Oncology Services at Burjeel Hospitals, indicated that lung cancer in the UAE, specifically in 2017, recorded an incidence rate of 7.76% and was the third common cause of cancer death for both males with a rate of 10.8% and females with a rate of 5.5 % with an estimated average of 80 deaths, equivalent to 8.4%, while in 2018, the rate of lung cancer in the country was 4.4%, with a death rate of 8.8%.
He pointed out that lung cancer ranks ninth among the most common cancers in the country, accounting for 5.5% of all tumors, with 140 cases annually, and the fourth cancer among Emirati males and the third cause of death according to the last national registry of 2017, which was published last year.
He stressed that early detection is of great importance in the success of lung cancer treatment; Therefore, there is a need to expand the scope of early detection processes with clear screening protocols and means of care, adopting detection programs in clinical practice, and giving priority to individuals at high risk, as lung cancer is a major cause of death in the Gulf.
Regarding the groups most at risk of contracting this disease, Al Shamsi answered: Lung cancer usually affects people over the age of 50, and smokers are the most vulnerable groups to contracting it more than others.
He added: “The risk factors that may cause lung cancer are smoking, cigars and (hookah), which cause nearly 9 out of every 10 cases (86%), and in contrast, 3% of lung cancer cases occur due to exposure to second-hand smoke in people. non-smokers”.
He pointed out that about 90% of lung cancer is caused by tobacco use, in addition to passive smoking, which is the inhalation of smoke from other smokers. And exposure to radon gas, which is the second largest cause of lung cancer after smoking.
It was also found that the use of coal for cooking and heating at home, with a high level of smoke, is one of the reasons for an increased risk of lung cancer, and a family history of lung cancer increases the risk of lung cancer by 51%.
The President of the Emirates Oncology Society stated that the Society published 3 studies on lung cancer in the past year, and is looking forward to publishing more studies from the UAE.
Regarding the origin and emergence of lung cancer, Dr. Ali Al-Daami, Consultant Thoracic Surgery and Oncology at the American Hospital Dubai, said: “Lung cancer arises, like other types of cancer, when abnormalities and disturbances affect the normal activities of cell division and proliferation, which opens the way for abnormal growth to occur. And out of control for some of those cells, so that those cells grow to be something like a lump or tumor.”
He pointed out that any abnormal growth that forms in the body and begins to invade or invade the tissues and organs adjacent to it, and begins to spread to other parts of the body, or if that mass or tumor is characterized by the ability to return and grow again after its removal, then it is called a malignant or cancerous tumor.
He stated that lung cancer is one of the most common cancers and one of the most fatal in the world, with lung cancer deaths equal to the number of pancreatic and colon cancers together.
He pointed out that one of the most important things to be done is to spread awareness about this disease, the causes that lead to infection and methods of treatment.
He stated that smoking of all kinds is one of the most important causes of lung cancer, as it leads to changes in lung tissue and lung DNA, which leads to the presence of cancer cells that grow themselves and multiply in an unorganized manner.
He pointed out that there are no symptoms that appear on the patient, as it is a quiet type of cancer that grows invisibly until it reaches an advanced stage, so the importance of early detection and periodic examination is to be able to detect the disease in advanced stages of infection and to avoid knowledge of infection at a late date.
He advised smokers who have smoked for between 25 and 30 years and are over 50 years old, to periodically check with x-rays to detect any changes in lung tissue, as the best early detection methods and to avoid lung cancer or complications associated with the disease.
He considered that ordinary rays do not do what is required in detecting the disease in the early stages, unlike x-rays, stressing that early detection is a safety valve, because it detects the disease in its early stages, which helps to cure the disease by up to 90%.
He stated that one of the symptoms of lung cancer is chronic itching, itching accompanied by bloody discharge, coughing accompanied by blood, weight loss or loss of voice.