KUWAIT CITY, Feb 1, (KUNA): Launching awareness campaigns on cancer is a key factor to combat the disease, an official has stressed, noting that about 80 percent of patients suffering from cancer recover after early detection. In a press statement on sidelines of launching the Gulf Cancer Awareness Week, on Monday, Dr. Ahmad Al-Awadi, head of Kuwait Cancer Control Center (KCCC), said the event is organized for the first time in Kuwait, concurrently with similar activities, organized in other GCC member states and celebrations of the World Cancer Day. The workshop is held under auspices of Minister of Health Dr Ali Saad Al-Obaidi, reflecting the ministry’s interest and the KCCC in spreading awareness on cancer diseases, he added.
On his part, Dr Khaled Al-Saleh, vice chairman of Cancer Awareness National Campaign (CAN), said the World Health Organization (WHO), considering that cancer is a chronic disease, has advised officials to devote special interest in combating it. Efforts of Gulf cancer control center, affiliated with the executive bureau of GCC health ministers, and Gulf union for fighting cancer contributed to launching a Gulf cancer awareness week every year on Feb 1-7, he noted.
The week-long activity includes several events and activities like exhibitions of all specialties, distribution of publications on cancer awareness, healthy diets and some relevant lectures. In 2012, some statistics showed that 2,000 people, including 990 Kuwaitis, were diagnosed with cancer, he said, noting that about 57 Kuwaitis were suffering from colon cancer, while 68 non-Kuwaitis were diagnosed with the latter disease in Kuwait.
Breast cancer among Kuwaiti women comes first as about 212 cases have been diagnosed with the disease. On her part, Director of Health Promotion Department in the MOH Dr. Abeer Al Bahwa said around one third of cancer deaths are due to five leading behavioral and dietary risks: Large body mass, abstention from eating fruits and vegetables, lack of physical activity, tobacco and alcohol use. About 30 percent of the cases could recover by avoiding such intakes and any other factors leading to the disease, she stressed. She noted that tobacco use is the most important risk factor for cancer causing around 22 percent of global cancer deaths and around 71 percent of global lung cancer deaths.
Cancer cases in the Arab world range between 150 and 250 out of 100,000 people, while they rise in the US up to 500 out of 100,000 people, she said. Meanwhile, in an unrelated development, the rights of education and treatment are guaranteed to all segments of illegal residents in Kuwait, “regardless of lack of some of their papers or files,” said Executive Chairman of the Central Agency for Remedying Illegal Residents Status Yousef Saleh Al-Fadalah on Monday. Al-Fadalah told KUNA in a statement following a meeting with a visiting US Human Rights Watch delegation, which included Joe Stark, deputy director of the Middle East division at Human Rights Watch and Yemen and Kuwait Researcher, Middle East and North Africa Division, Belkis Wille. Al-Fadalah added to KUNA that he explained efforts to implement road map and techniques to address the living conditions of illegal residents. Guaranteeing the right for free education and treatment for all of illegal residents despite lack of some of their documents was instructed by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, he noted.