UAE is leading the fight against cancer

It is challenging for the sufferer and those who suffer with him.


Mustafa Al Zarooni

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Published: Mon 14 Oct 2019, 7:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 14 Oct 2019, 9:52 PM

Cancer is horrific to contemplate. Its origin, most of the time is unknown and the treatment often unpredictable. Between chemotherapy and radiation, it could take months and sometimes years for a patient to come out of it. In the meantime, it spells sorrow, fatigue and patience not just for the patient but for the family as a whole. Shuttling from doctor to doctor and hospital to hospital, the effort takes a heavy toll. The options are several, leaving the patient and the caretakers confused. As the disease strikes any sense of stability and security are called into question. Dreams and aspirations no longer appear realistic. And at the end of it all, it could simply extend a death sentence.
It is challenging for the sufferer and those who suffer with him. Talk about losing the person pervades the air. What a malicious visitor cancer is. The state of affairs become somber as the number of cancer patients increases. According to the World Health Organization, cancer is the second highest cause of death in the world.
Reports state that low- and middle-income countries account for 70 per cent of cancer deaths, and this could be due to the poor treatment facilities, unlike in the UAE which offers the best treatment within the country and at the finest hospitals around the world. The fact that Abu Dhabi has been able to bring down deaths due to cancer from 40 to 27 per 100,000 inhabitants within six years is in itself a case in point.
When one third of all cancer cases is due to the dietary behaviour of a nation's residents, it is imperative that intensified campaigns and increased control over all food products are made. In the UAE, the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) supports the economy by ensuring excellence and quality in all products entering the UAE. Additional taxes on tobacco will act as a deterrent in its consumption.
 The UAE has been investing heavily in research related to cancer. Recently, Sharjah, through its laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute in London, created a drug that gives hope to patients with lung cancer, thus making history. The Pink Caravan initiative is doing yeoman service not only in creating awareness and doing research on the disease but also doing screenings free of charge. And the fitness challenge launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai will only add impetus to the wellness of this nation.

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