Your lifestyle could be an invitation to cancer, says expert

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Your lifestyle could be an invitation to cancer, says expert
Human breast cancer cells dividing

Abu Dhabi - Dr Dreier, stressed that a traditional food diet and lifestyle, is simply healthier for the body.

By Jasmine Al Kuttab

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Published: Wed 16 Sep 2015, 4:36 PM

Last updated: Sun 20 Sep 2015, 9:24 AM

UAE residents must be cautious about what they put into their bodies, as modern food and lifestyle maybe triggering cancer, said Dr Norbert Wilhelm Dreier, Head of Department of Oncology and Hematology at Burjeel Hospital.
In an interview with Khaleej Times, on the sidelines of the Third International Oncology Conference, held on September 10 and 11, he highlighted the importance of sticking to a traditional Arabic lifestyle.
Dr Dreier, stressed that a traditional food diet and lifestyle, is simply healthier for the body. "If you think about the typical and traditional Arabic diet, it consisted mostly of fruits and vegetables, so it was definitely much healthier than what we see today."
The two-day event was held under the patronage of Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of culture, youth and social development. It saw the presence of world-renowned doctors, scientists and researchers, who also shared exclusive theories and ideas, in hopes of creating wider awareness on health for UAE residents.
During the conference, Shaikh Nahyan said: "Our country has welcomed experts from other countries who contribute to the creation of our knowledge society. We have drawn on global knowledge to build an ever more effective health care system".
Adding to the welcome speech, Dr Dreier also told Khaleej Times that it's vital to have medical researchers and doctors join the Capital.
However, Dr Dreier highlighted that although awareness is spreading, unfortunately, so is cancer, and one's lifestyle has a lot to do with the cause.
"This is also due to our lifestyle here, as it is becoming more Western. There are fast food outlets everywhere...which affects the health adversely," he said.
Moreover, a vital point that Dr Dreier touched on, is the fact that cancer is developing differently in the UAE, compared to elsewhere.
"The cancer population here is a little different," he said, adding that, "for instance, we have more young ladies who are developing breast cancer."
In some cases, women are born with a risk, due to genetic inheritance, which often leads them to make difficult decisions. "Some ladies don't even want to know if they are at a higher risk of cancer, as they might have to make decisions such as getting their breast removed, which may cause psychological problems," he pointed out.
Dr Dreier noted that women who are at a higher risk of developing cancer must consider many life-changing aspects.
"Would she be required to remove her breast, like Angelina Jolie? Would she be required to get all her ovaries removed, even if she won't be able to conceive after that? Will she tell the insurance companies that she is at risk? What about the psychological affect? There are a lot of questions to consider."
The psychological affect, however, works both ways, as it is also difficult for the doctor himself to break the news to a patient. "Even if I know that she is at risk, will I say 'now you have to remove your breasts and ovaries?' Both sides have affects."
However, as times are changing, people's perception on health is also developing in the UAE. Thus, realising that one must first look out for his or her own health, is a key factor in life.
"Overall I think we are slowly getting to the point where we can at least not just talk about cure, but also think about controlling the cancer and thus turning something from deadly to chronic, therefore giving the patient a better chance in life."
jasmine@khaleejtimes.com


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