KARACHI - With a three-year global theme “I Am And I Will” announced by the Union of International Cancer Control, World Cancer Day is being celebrated across the globe today urging all communities and stakeholders to make personal commitment towards its prevention and bringing down the numbers.

Health experts have identified oral cancer in men and breast cancer in women as commonest cancers in Pakistan. Oral cancer is caused mainly by pan, gutka, betal nuts and tobacco. Almost 30 to 50 percent of cancers can be cured if treated at very early stages for which timely diagnosis is crucial.

Experts expressed these views at a world cancer day awareness seminar organised by Medionix with support of National Institute of Child Health, Child Aid Association (CAA), Mohammadi Blood Bank, Consumer Rights Protection Council of Pakistan (CRPC) and Brookes Pharmaceuticals at auditorium of NICH.

Delivering his presentation, Prof Nizamul Hasan told that they have started cancer awareness program in schools and worried to see very kids using betal nuts and other addictive stuff. Around two percent of children are suffering from cancer in Pakistan, however it can be well managed and treated successfully. Majority of cancer related deaths occurred not because of cancer but infections. Smoke, air pollution and other diseases can also cause cancer, he underlined.

Dr Mohammad Ali Memon informed that around 70 percent of cancers are caused by infections which again remind us importance of cleanliness which is also told by our religion. More than 60 percent cancer cases are caused by HIV and hepatitis. We have 13 million hepatitis patients in the country. Pan, betal nut and tobacco are major causes of cancer here in our country. More than 10 million people using tobacco die every year in the world and 1,00,000 people among them are in Pakistan.

If you stop using such harmful products, we can save money to construct dams. We can prevent 30 to 50 percent of cases with help of modifiable risk factors including lifestyle, diet and physical activity. Preventable cancers include breast, liver, skin, cervical, lungs, colorectal and oral. For this, role of family physician is very important. They should timely suspect and diagnose cancer patients. Family physicians should advise public to avoid junk food and take healthy diet keeping their surroundings clean, he stressed.

Quoting World Health Organization, Dr Mohammad Ali Memon told that 18 to 21 million new cases of cancers are reported worldwide every year while more than 9.5 million patients die of disease. Tobacco alone is responsible for 7 million deaths in the world and 1,60,000 in Pakistan, he told.

Dr Qaiser Sajjad showed pictures of patients suffering from cancer and urged public to immediately stop use of tobacco in any form. Oral cancer is number one in men which is mainly caused by pan, betal nut and gutka. People are afraid to undergo biopsy although it can confirm diagnosis. Cancer is not spread by undergoing biopsy. People should get it if advised by qualified doctors, he added.

It is very alarming that people don’t consider it a bad habit to use tobacco and addictive stuff. Over 40 percent of men and 30 percent of women are using betal nuts in any form in Pakistan. Government should completely ban import of betal nut. Its sale should immediately be stopped within and outside schools. Media should also play its effective role for public awareness, he urged.

Commissioner backs

midwifery dept

Metropolitan Commissioner Dr Syed Saifur Rehman said that time is required to make strong the base of midwifery department, adding that mostly people have not aware about the importance of midwifery department.

He said that through legislation in law make a strong department to midwifery department to facilitate the affiliated people for promotion of human welfare.  This he stated while addressing 11th Midwifery Conference 2019 as chief guest, organised by Sindh Institute of Reproductive Medicine (SIRM).

On the occasion, Metropolitan Commissioner said that people discussing progress but unfortunately no one show their interest to make strong the base of departments in the country, adding that the need of hour to joint work for prosperity of the country, he added.

He said that awareness drive is also required among the people with establishing new departments to control the population. “The rapid increase in population creating hurdles in development of the country”, Metropolitan Commissioner added. Syed Saif ur Rehman said that he will play its role to promote midwifery department in KMC’s hospital.

On the occasion, organisers of the event present an appreciation award to Metropolitan Commissioner, later, Syed Saifur Rehman also present shields among the participants of the event on behalf of the event organizing committee. Dr Sher Shah, Dr Tipu Sultan, Dr Fariha, Professor Dr Rubina Sohail, Dr Shaheen Zafar, students of various midwifery institutions and others were also attended the event.