MOH News
Dr. Abu-Harbash: ‘Early Diagnosis Reduces Cancer Incidence Rates’
09 February 2014
A Consultant in Hematology and Oncology, Dr. Saud Abu-Harbash, has revealed that cancer incidence rates in the Kingdom (recording 11% annually) are witnessing a constant decrease due to early diagnosis and accurate statistics. Besides, he highlighted that the cancer rates can be reduced through taking various steps, such as conducting the breast self examination as well as mammogram screening (for women aged 40 years and above); that is to be added to examining the colon once a bleeding is observed, conducting an endoscopy when needed (for women aged 50 years and above), analyzing the prostate (for women aged 50 years and above), and avoiding smoking and radiation.
As part of the health awareness efforts carried out by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to celebrate the World Cancer Day dated 4th February, the National Center for Media and Health Awareness has hosted Dr. Saud Abu-Harbash, a Consultant in Hematology and Oncology, via the Center’s toll-free number: 8002494444 and the MOH's account on Twitter: @saudimoh.
Within the same vein, Dr. Abu-Harbash underlined that many new medications have been discovered for the treatment of leukemia, lymphoma, breast and colon cancers; such as some medicines which lead to the recovery of chronic leukemia at a rate of more than 90%, recovery of lymphoma at a rate exceeding 70%, recovery of Hodgkin's disease at a rate of more than 90% and recovery of breast and colon cancers, if detected early, at a rate reaching 100%, Allah Willing.
“There is no specific nor direct reason to cancer, however, there are serious factors that may lead to incidence of cancer, such as certain habits and behaviors, including smoking, drinking alcohol or direct exposure to sunlight for long periods, as well as genetic history of cancer,” said Dr. Abu-Harbash.
“Some studies have shown that certain types of cancer are inherited, such as the breast cancer, while other types are caused by aging, exposure to radiation, viral diseases, or as a result of complications of chronic diseases such as repeated bowel and colon inflammations, which may increase the potential of developing cancer; that is to be added to the surrounding environment impact,” Dr. Abu-Harbash said, adding that existing in industrial areas or working in places, where exposure to chemical substances is frequent,  increases the possibility of developing cancer.
Consequently, Dr. Abu-Harbash underlined that the rates and types of cancer differ from a region to another inside the Kingdom; highlighting that the regions of Riyadh, Asir and Madinah are recording the highest rates of some types of cancer.
Finally, Dr. Abu-Harbash underscored the importance of early screening for breast and colon; since early detection of any changes in the human body helps in the speedy treatment in early stages, Allah Willing.

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