LAHORE - Oncologists of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centrehave emphasised that detecting cancer at earlier stage always makes it easier to treat or even cure, said a press release.

According to Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), 8.2 million people die of cancer in every year, while 14 million new cancer cases registered per year worldwide. Breast cancer is the top malignancy in Pakistan. According to Shaukat Khanum data registry, the top three malignancies in all age group and both sexes combined are breast cancer, leukemia, and lip and oral cavity cancer. The top three malignancies amongst adult females are: cancers of the breast, ovary and uterine adnexa, and lip and oral cavity, whereas in adult males, they were lip & oral cavity, liver and intrahepatic bile ducts, and prostate.

Dr Abid Qazi, Consultant Paediatric Surgeon of SKMCH&RC, in his message, said, diagnosing cancer isn’t always easy – not all cancers show early signs and symptoms and other warning signs appear quite late when the cancer is advanced. However, for a number of cancers, increasing awareness of signs and symptoms and the importance of timely treatment has been shown to improve survival from cancer. Public awareness campaigns and workplace health and wellbeing initiatives are important communication platforms to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and encourage people to seek help promptly. With the right information, individuals can be encouraged to know what’s normal for their body and to recognize any unusual or persistent changes, he said.

Dr Neelam Siddiqui, Consultant Onclogist SKMCH&RC, stressed the need for a healthy lifestyle. Everyone can take steps to reduce their risk of cancer by choosing healthy options including quitting smoking, keeping physically active and choosing healthy food and drinks. Individuals can also reduce their risk of many common cancers by maintaining a healthy weight, and making physical activity part of their everyday lives. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of ten cancers - bowel, breast, uterine, ovarian, pancreatic, oesophagus, kidney, liver, advanced prostate and gallbladder cancers, she said. Dr Tabinda Sadaf also highlighted the importance of early detection of cancer and healthy lifestyle.