Karachi: Director of Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), Prof Adib Rizvi disclosed here that over 5,000 urinary bladder cancer patients, 3,000 kidney cancers, 2,000 prostate cancers and more than 3,000 other cancer patients were treated free of cost at the SIUT with dignity till last year.
He was speaking at an awareness seminar organized by Hanifa Suleman Dawood Oncology Centre at SIUT. The other speakers included clinical dietician Samia Khurram, cancer specialist Dr Babar Malik and radiation oncologist Dr Mansoor Rafique.
Dr Rizvi stressed the need for creating awareness and implementing cancer preventive measures nationwide to check this growing menace.
The day-long activities at SIUT included lectures by specialist, educational videos, panel discussions and interviews with cancer survivors, besides an interactive question-answer session.
Medical oncologist Dr Syed Najeeb Naimatullah said that the general measures to reduce the risk of cancer include choosing healthy options like quitting smoking, keeping physically active and opting for healthy foods and drinks.
He laid stress on the beneficial aspects of preventing, diagnosing and treating the cancer in its initial stages before it manifests as a full blown disease. Cancer screening, therefore, is mandatory before the appearance of symptoms, he added.
Apprising about several possible etiological factors, the other speakers mentioned tobacco use, pan, gutka, chhalia, alcohol, malnutrition, environmental pollution, poor socio-economic conditions, obesity, hereditary factors, certain chemicals and exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
On this occasion, survivors and patients suffering from different cancers shared their success stories and the various phases of their treatment. They offered hope for the community at large by stating that with the advent of modern science and technological expertise and early interventions, cancer can be dealt with.
They urged the government, community, education institutions and media to help in disseminating awareness about cancer and also play their role to negate the damaging myths and misconceptions of this disease.