UAE paper hails Abu Dhabi move to screen high-risk individuals for lung cancer

Mon 22-01-2018 09:25 AM

ABU DHABI, 22nd January, 2018 (WAM) — A UAE newspaper has said that although lung cancer is among the least common five cancers in Abu Dhabi, it has caused the maximum number of fatalities. So the move to routinely screen high-risk individuals – identified as smokers age 55 and above who have smoked a pack of cigarettes for at least 30 years – for lung cancer was only a logical measure.

“The announcement by the Abu Dhabi Department of Health is line with the American protocol that recommends annual screening of all individuals in the high-risk category,” said Gulf News in an editorial on Monday.

The screening involves low-dose CT scans to identify early stage cancer and also covers current smokers, as well as those who have quit within the past 15 years. “Most health experts agree that smoking is the biggest risk factor for the disease and a very high number of lung cancer patients, roughly 85 percent, have a history of smoking,” it said.

“The risk increases with the number of cigarettes a person smokes and the length of time, and it increases as people get older. In most cases, the disease strikes people above 55 years. Some studies have shown that an early diagnosis may improve prognosis as in almost 90 percent of cases, the diseases is discovered late and the survival is rare. In that sense, the proposed annual screening in Abu Dhabi is encouraging and other emirates should follow suit,” the paper explained.

The Dubai-based daily concluded by saying, “The UAE last year imposed a 100 percent tax on tobacco products, but its impact on smoking habits is unclear. According to some estimates, up to 30 percent of adults smoke some kind of tobacco product. The screenings are therefore a significant step towards preventive healthcare and may lead to early diagnosis and treatment.”

WAM/Esraa Ismail

WAM/Rasha Abubaker

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