Dubai, UAE: Early detection can prevent fatalities caused by colorectal cancer which is the second largest cause of death from cancer after breast cancer in the UAE, experts said on Monday.
Lack of education and embarrassment about the disease often discourage people from seeking medical help at an early state, said Dr Adil Daud, a leading oncologist from the University of California.
Dr Daud was speaking on the occasion of the launch of a month-long free preventive screening campaign ]Watch your Back’ by Zulekha Hospital in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and Prevention on Monday.
The campaign, which runs until October 5, has been launched in line with the UAE National Health Agenda which seeks to reduce cancer cases by 18 per cent by 2021.
Dr Tareq Al Khoury, oncology specialist from Zulekha Hospital, said early screening made this cancer preventable. “It was observed that the incidence of colorectal cancer decreased by 35 per cent in the last few years only because early detection and putting patients on a variety of therapies had helped them go into remission and actual elimination too.”
Professor Dr Robert Warren, chief of Surgical Oncology at the University of California, explained that the UAE could draw a leaf from the United States where nearly 60 per cent of young people undergo preventive screening. “A simple stool test reveals if the individual is likely to have polyps in the intestines which is the first step towards screening. They undergo this test every year and we intend to take this screening up to 80 per cent of the youth by 2018. This pattern can be followed by the UAE too,” he said.
Dr Abdullah Al Naqbi, chief pharmacist from the Ministry of Health and Prevention, said since the insurance covered the test it was advisable that young people undergo the fecal-occult blood test once a year and go in for colonoscopy once in five years to rule out this cancer.
Dr Rashmi Patel, specialist physician, and Dr Shareej, gastroenterologist at Zulekha Hospital, pointed out that since this cancer affected both genders equally, the hospital is offering free consultation and tests with oncology surgeons and gastroenterologists. Interested UAE residents can register online on the hospital’s website or call their toll-free number. The hospital is also offering a 50 per cent discount on colonscopy and laboratory and radiology tests for the diagnosis.
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© Gulf NewsSep 2016