KARACHI: Tobacco was once “again declared the most important risk factor for cancer” at a conference hosted Monday here in the city. It added that smoking was “responsible for approximately 22% of cancer deaths”.
“Cancer has been responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in the previous year,” experts attending the three-day international conference stated, stressing that “globally, about 1 in 6 deaths is caused due to cancer”.
A whopping 70 percent of the deaths caused by cancer were in “low- and middle-income countries” and that the disease “happens to be the second leading cause of death at [a] global level”.
Organised jointly by the Sindh Institute of Urology & Transplantation (SIUT) and the American Society of Oncology (ASCO) and including experts from home and abroad, the conference highlighted “what is new in oncology.”
Apart from that, the speakers expressed concern about the various different types of cancer, which include that of blood, lung, esophagus, gastric, kidney, bladder, colon, and rectum.
“The experts highlighted that tobacco use caused 85% carcinogens,” a statement issued by the SIUT read.
Among the participants were Dr Narjis Muzaffar, Dr Najeeb Niamatullah, and Dr Afshan Asghar. They said that the dialysis and kidney transplant centre was treating cancer and related diseases for almost three decades “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 [an] early stage,” it added.
“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.”
Testicular, gastric, and colorectal cancers
“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.”