Experts predict rise in lung cancer cases

ABU DHABI — Lung cancer would prevail and probably become an epidemic in the UAE in the coming few years due to a phenomenal spread of smoking, medical experts have warned

By Nada S.mussallam

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Published: Sun 10 Sep 2006, 9:57 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:21 PM

“In the next five to 10 years we are expecting that lung cancer would become an epidemic due to the spread of smoking cigarette and shisha in the society”, cautioned Dr Husni S. Al Hateeti, an oncology specialist at Shaikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC).

In an interview with Khaleej Times, Dr Hateeti warned: “Our community is young as the majority is under 30 years with the average age being just 18. But as cancer cases are growing with growing ages, lung cancer would become an epidemic, especially as smoking has become a prominent feature in the society”.

He advised that raising the awareness of the public on the serious consequences of smoking and its health complications is the key issue to avert the life threats the disease poses. “There are not too many epidemic cases of cancer in the country. The most common types of the disease are breast and colerectal cancer which affects 50 to 60 per cent of the cancer patients”, noted Dr Hateeti.

On the causation of cancer, Dr Mussawar Iqbal, another SKMC oncologist, said causes of the disease are still not known and that no specific cause has been singled out as yet. However, he said, there are multifactors that could contribute to the development of cancer like infection, smoking and alcohol, genetics factors and radiation. He said cancer should not be perceived as the end of the road because of the development of new modalities of treatment.

Moreover, contrary to the popular conception that old people can not tolerate cancer treatment, he added, the physical condition of patients is more important than their biological age. About whether deteriorating psychological health could predispose people to develop the disease, Dr Iqbal said: “There is no evidence or data to support that depression and anxiety leads to cancer. Cancer could be the cause of depression or anxiety but anxiety can not be the cause of cancer.”

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