A new study, published on ScienceDirect, revealed that it is expected that the incidence and spread of cancer in the Kingdom will double by 2030, explaining that despite the implementation of initiatives to improve the health care system, rapid economic and population growth has occurred alongside rapid demographic, social and economic changes such as an increase in smoking. Decreased physical activity, which is expected to influence the spread of some types of cancer.
This study sheds light on the challenges facing primary cancer prevention measures in the Kingdom, which will be necessary to reduce exposure to risk factors, and the necessary measures to monitor cancer care outcomes. While a researcher in the field of public health and cancer epidemics, Saleh Al-Eisi, explained that the field of cancer care in Saudi Arabia faces several challenges, which lie in the fact that about two-thirds of patients are not detected for their disease except in moderate and advanced cases of the disease, which raises the cost of treatment and reduces the chances of recovery, in addition to that A good number of patients turn to folk medicine after diagnosis rather than medical treatment in medical centers, which reduces their chances of recovery.
A healthy obsession
Al-Essi said: “Cancer diseases are one of the challenges facing health systems and societies around the world because of the cost of treating them, the difficulty in diagnosing them, and their negative psychological impact on patients and their families. And because cancer diseases are closely related to diet, represented by unhealthy eating, and lifestyle such as smoking, obesity, lack of movement, and aging, they have become an obsession for many health systems, and have called for many efforts and research of public health and population health, to prevent them. And reduce its repercussions on the individual and society.
Fight against cancer
“Al-Essi” stated that the opportunities to reduce the increase in cancer cases are available through the expansion of anti-smoking and obesity programs, quality of life programs, and raising the percentage of sports practitioners according to the goals of “Vision 2030”, in addition to studying the effectiveness of early detection programs for cancer in Saudi society.
Key study points:
The cancer registry in the Kingdom needs data on patients’ demographics, treatment, and survival.
Research is needed in the area of cancer detection and prevention.
Cancer must remain a top priority, to be addressed in terms of research funding.