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2nd Gulf cancer conf. kicks off in Riyadh

RIYADH, March 27 (KUNA) -- The second Gulf conference on cancer started on Tuesday in the Saudi capital, with the participation of 12 experts representing some international institutions and organizations specialized in cancer treatment.
The three-day conference, which also features 27 Gulf and Saudi experts from different sectors, aims to boost cooperation among several Gulf health institutions on care programs for cancer patients and building national capabilities.
In a recorded speech during the opening of the congress, Majid al-Fayyad, general supervisor of the general establishment of King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, said that GCC health and medical institutions are concerned about increased cancer cases in GCC member states.
Most cases are diagnosed in advanced stages, he added, indicating that cancer cases in the Gulf region are expected to double in the next ten years due to change in lifestyle and increased risks of smoking, obesity, inactivity and others.
He called for quickly adopting an effective plan by GCC health institutions to respond to these indicators and translate challenges into investment in the programs of preventive health, early detection stages and healthcare. He stated that evidence and scientific research indicate that 40 percent of cancer diseases can be cured, if the disease is detected in its early stages.
He noted that 90 percent of breast and colon cancer, the most common in GCC states, is treated if the diseases are detected early.
Secretary General of the Gulf Union for Fighting Cancer (GUFC) Khaled Al-Saleh said in a speech at the event that about 8.8 million people die every year from cancer.
According to the recent statistics by the World Health Organization, about 14 million people were diagnosed with caner in 2012, he made clear.
He stressed the importance of developing programs for implementing some societal initiatives on the early detection stages of cancer and conducting surveys.
He also recommended people to avoid causes which lead to cancer that include smoking, unhealthy behavior and others. (end) mdm.hm