Dubai, UAE: Head and neck cancers in the UAE have the third largest prevalence after lung and breast cancer. These include cancers occurring in the brain, pitutiary gland, tongue and mouth, cheek tumours and the thyroid gland.
Speaking to Gulf News, Dr Mohammad Ahmad Al Falasi, vice-president of the Emirates ENT society and chair of the head and neck oncology department at Tawam Hospital, enumerated the main causes of the high incidence. “[Due to many expatriates from the Subcontinent] eating betel nut and tobacco which causes oral lesions, high alcohol consumption and presence of human pappiloma virus (HPV), as well as genetic factors, the incidence of head and neck cancers is widespread,” said Dr Al Falasi.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the sixth edition of the three-day Emirates Otorhinolaryngology, Audiology and Communications Congress that began on January 13 and will conclude on January 15 under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance. The congress is being held in association with the American Academy of Otolaryngology, head and neck surgery.
The conference which is being attended by specialists from around the world will have papers presented on a wide variety of sub-specialities such as rhinology, audiology, head and neck oncology, facial plastic surgery and paediatric ENT that fall within the purview of otorhinolaryngology.
“With advanced diagnostics and early intervention, people with head and neck tumours, lesions in the oral cavity of the mouth, have an 88 per cent chance of beating the cancer,” said Dr Al Falasi. “Anyone who has an oral lesion on the tongue or cheek or in the mouth that is not healing, or has difficultly in swallowing, or notices a change in his voice, needs to go in for cancer screening,” he cautioned.
After the successful conclusion of this congress, Dubai is set to bid for the 2021 meeting of the International Federation of Otolaryngology which will take place soon after Expo 2020.
© Gulf NewsJan 2016