MOH News
Dr. Um Al-Khair: Recovered Cancer Patient Can Fast Safely
30 June 2014
Dr. Um Al-Khair Abdullah Abu-Alkhair, consultant in hematology and oncology, has pointed out that the recovered cancer patient can fast during the month of Ramadan without suffering any harms. However, in the event that he is receiving intravenous chemotherapy, he will inevitably have to break his fast on the treatment day, in addition to other one or two days following it, as he is supposed to drink sufficient amounts of liquids. She added that, nevertheless, if the patient receives tablet treatment (two tablets per day) to stop the spread of the disease, he can keep fasting unless he suffers side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, or mouth ulcers; in such a case, he has to break his fast to avoid dryness. The patient who receives hormone treatment can also fast, unless the treatment is given intravenously; in this case, he will have to break his fast on the treatment day.
 
 Meanwhile, Dr. Um Al-Khair has advised cancer patients to drink sufficient liquids and avoid much fried food, especially on the day preceding receiving chemotherapy. She further noted that fasting before getting the treatment is useful as some studies have shown that it reduces the side effects resulting from chemotherapy, so it's better for the patient to keep fasting, except for the treatment day and the another  day following it, in order to drink sufficient liquids. 
 
This came while hosting of Dr. Um Al-Khair Abdullah Abu-Alkhai, consultant in hematology and oncology, at the Media and Health Awareness National Center of the Ministry of Health (MOH), within the context of the Ministry of Health's annual awareness campaign during the fasting month of Ramadan under the theme: "Hello Healthy Ramadan", via the Center’s toll-free number: 8002494444, and the Ministry's Twitter account: @SAUDIMOH. Through this Program, the Center hosts a constellation of consultant physicians and specialists in all fields to help fasting people, especially those with diseases, to perform this Islamic pillar without any health problems – Allah willing.
 
Within the same vein, Dr. Um Al-Khair has underscored that the patient with a benign tumor must keep following up his case with the treating physician and he must undergo X-ray examination every three to six months. "Indeed no one can decide on whether the tumor is benign based on the results of the X-ray examinations only, unless a biopsy sample is tested and compared with it, to avoid any suspicion in this regard," she said. "In addition to that, the tumor must be removed or a new biopsy sample must be taken and tested to make sure that patient's tumor is benign."
 
Answering a question about to which extent the benign tumor can be transformed into a malignant one, Dr. Um Al-Khair has indicated that “such a transformation depends on tests of the biopsy sample and the rate of the cell growth.”
 
Concerning ladies’ fear of  mammograms, she has advised ladies under 40 years not to undergo such a radiological test, except those who have strong family history with breast cancer, or those who are carrying specific inherited cancer genes, or in case of any other risk factors. In addition to that, ladies are advised to avoid taking harmonic treatment or pregnancy doping before undergoing ultrasound or mammogram tests.
 
Regarding the guidelines to be learnt by the patient after getting treated and recovered from breast cancer in order to avoid recurrence of the disease, Dr. Um Al-Khair underlined the importance of avoiding the pressure of daily life, maintaining a healthy weight, adopting regular exercise program as studies have indicated that obesity is one of the factors which lead to developing breast, colon and colorectal cancers.
 
It's worth mentioning that, the Center will host tomorrow Tuesday Ramadan 3rd, 1435 H (corresponding to July 1st, 2014), Dr. Rouaa Al-Harthy, a consultant in dermatology, hair diseases and laser, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
 
 
 
 



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