New threats of cancer discussed at international moot

KARACHI: Experts quoting global figures said that cancer has been responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in the previous year. Globally, about 1 in 6 deaths is caused due to cancer. 70% of deaths due to cancer has been found in low and middle income countries. Tobacco was again declared the most important risk factor for cancer and is responsible for approximately 22% of cancer deaths.

Three-Day international conference currently in progress at Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) was informed on the second day that “cancer happens to be the second leading cause of death at global level”.

The conference jointly organized by SIUT and American Society of Oncology (ASCO) is attended by experts from within the country and abroad. The theme of the conference is “What is new in oncology”.

The experts showed their concern on the causes of cancer and its types including cancers of blood, lung, Esophagus, Gastric, Kidney, Bladder, colon and rectum. The experts highlighted that tobacco use caused 85% carcinogens.

Experts representing SIUT including Dr Narjis Muzaffar, Dr Najeeb Niamatullah, Dr Afshan Asghar said that cancer diseases are being treated by SIUT since 1989 but due to the increasing volume of cancer diseases, the institute responded by opening a dedicated oncology center with the vision of providing free full-fledged comprehensive cancer treatment for the public.

The center has been treating urological tumors and now is also treating non-urological cancers including breast, head and neck and some blood cancers if they are at early stage.

Dr Frederick Smith from USA discussing in the management of breast cancer said that it’s a chronic disease and women diagnosed with breast cancer are now living longer due to the new treatment options.

Giving a lecture on post-transplant cancer, Dr Muzaffar Qaziblash from USA, said the post-transplant patients due to the suppression of their immune system, develop different cancers, which are mainly driven by virus and can be managed by chemotherapy and targeted therapy.

Highlighting the prevalence of prostate cancer, Dr Badar Mian from USA said this ailment is a common disease specially in elderly population but not everybody needs treatment and only those patients who have aggressive disease need to be treated.

Dr Pervaiz Rahman, Dr Khalid Matin and Dr Saima Sharif the visiting cancer specialist from the US discussed testicular cancer, gastric cancer and colo-rectal cancers respectively.

They were of the opinion that incidence of cancer is increasing partly due to change in life style but surgery, chemotherapy and new drugs promise better future and prospect for the disease.