Karachi: Expressing concern over the rising number of cancer cases in Karachi, the Dow University research report called on policy makers to devise appropriate strategies for the prevention and control of cancer, as over the past ten years, 22,858 Cancer cases have been registered in Dow Cancer Registry. In which Breast cancer ranks first, oral cancer second, and esophageal cancer third Research Paper Published in the International Medical Journal Pakistan Medical Journal led by Prof. Dr Asif Qureshi under the Supervision by Prof. Mohammed Saeed Quraishy. Among those 22858 cancers 9,112 cancers (that is 39.9%) were registered in males while 13, 746 cancers (that is 60.1%) were registered in females. In adult males the percentage of cancers according to their prevalence is as follows: Cancer of lip and oral cavity was 33.6%, non-melanoma skin cancer was 7.2%, cancer of
esophagus was 6.8%, cancer of colorectal was 6.7% and cancer of stomach was 4.9%. While in adult females the percentage of breast cancer was 53.2%, cancers of lip and oral cavity was 10.4%, cancer of esophagus was 5.3%, cancer of colorectal was 3.3% and non-melanoma skin cancer was 3%. In children, the percentage of brain cancer was 15.8%, Hodgkin’s lymphoma was 14.2%, cancer of colorectal was 8.1 %, cancer of endocrine and related organs was 15.3% and non- hodgkin’s lymphoma was 7.8 %.According to the research paper, lip and mouth cancer is on the peak among men in Karachi, while the report suggests that research into esophageal cancer is also necessary to determine the value of the food used. This report, from the Dow Cancer Registry contains data of ten years from 2010-2019. Note that the figures are for cases registered at Dow University, which has the largest public Sector network of diagnostic centers in
the city. Since alcohol, hot drinks like tea, coffee etc. the use of meat barbecue causes esophageal cancer, it is necessary to see how much the use of these foods has increased in the last decade. The report also raises concerns about the growing percentage of brain and nervous system cancers in children over the past years and stresses on the need for action. According to the report, national level cancer statistics are not available in Pakistan. The data presented by Pakistan at the International Conference on Cancer in 2018, titled Globocan-2018, was extracted from a report by the Punjab Cancer Registry. According to the report, due to the unavailability of cancer data at the national level, there are still many cancer patients who are not registered, but if a strong system of cancer registry
is established at the regional level, then the cancer data at the national level can be configured. There is an urgent need to create a regular and integrated system for cancer patient’s registration. The report recommends banning various types of tobacco products, pan Gutka, cigarettes, sheesha etc. to prevent oral cancer, as the growing number of cancer cases cannot be controlled without effective measures in the right direction. According to the report, most people with oral cancer have long been found to be addicted to tobacco.
The report described the increasing percentage of colorectal cancer as a wake-up call and said that it is more common in developed countries because of their food and habits. Therefore it is necessary to look whether it is increasing due to the growing trend of Western style foods or there is some other reason.
According to the reports non melanoma skin cancers are amongst the top ten cancers in Karachi. The reason could be city’s proximity to the equator as compared to other parts of Pakistan. The other reason could be increased production of chlorofluorocarbons in city over the past years which is causing depletion of ozone layer. The annual growth rate of chlorofluorocarbons is 71.7% in Karachi which is not only harming ozone layer but also causing various type of skin diseases.
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