A report categorised the cancer types among males from 1996 to 2015, in which the prostate gland cancer was most common type among men, then the stomach cancer, non-hodgkin lymphoma, leukaemia and colorectal cancer respectively.
Among women, during the same period, breast cancer ranked in the first place followed by thyroid cancer, colorectal cancer, non-hodgkin lymphoma and leukaemia in the fifth place.
According to the statistics provided in a report, the detected cancer cases among Omanis reached 21,002 cases including 10,723 among males and 10,279 among females. This constituted 51.1 per cent males and 48.9 per cent females. The report classified the five most common cancer types among Omanis — both males and females — as breast cancer, non-hodgkin lymphoma, leukaemia, colorectal cancer and thyroid cancer respectively.
This was revealed as the Sultanate on Tuesday observed the World Cancer Day organised by Oman Cancer Association at Al Bustan Palace Hotel.
The day has also been marked as the ‘Hug A Bear Day’ which is a day that sees special activities for children undergoing cancer treatment.
“Every year we have about eight to 10 events from Oman Cancer Association, but this year as we are mourning we cancelled all other activities except the one for children,” said the association.
A talk was also held at the Oman auditorium at Al Bustan Palace Hotel, where the focus was on the importance of early detection and diagnosis.
“The message here is if everyone says, I am and I will, it means that I am trying to prevent cancer and I will prevent cancer, then cancer will be prevented. At the same time everyone has to chip in together to make sure that cancer is prevented. That can be achieved through repeated examination,” said Dr Wahid al Kharousi, Chairman of Oman Cancer Association.
When asked why people still hesitate for screening after 20 years of awareness even when there is an availability of free tests, Dr Kharousi said: “People hesitate because we have not reached them. We should understand them and not be upset with them, but we must understand that ignorance is the worst thing. There is so much stigma and taboo about cancer that people do want to talk about it. They have closed the doors, but we have to find a solution to reach them.”
According to Dr Kharousi, colon cancer followed by lung cancer in men is taking a lead, and so is breast cancer followed by thyroid is highest among the Omani population.
He urged cancer survivors to help others. “If a person has gone through the sufferings of late diagnosis then they are the best to explain to others the importance of early detection. Early diagnosis provides complete cure.”
OCA’s mobile mammogram has performed 23,000 mammograms. “These women who just came like that and found the symptoms and that early detection meant they are walking today free of cancer,” he pointed out.
Cancer is treatable
The presentation also had a talk by OCA board member Dr Rajyashree Narayankutty, explaining the treatment and prevention methods. “Cancer is treatable, but we have to remember it has no pain, no boundaries and can affect any age or race. Early detection saves lives. Regular checkups, healthy life style, relaxation and pay attention to food and exercise can save us,” she said, adding that stress is one area people tend to overlook.
The revelation made in the 20-Year Cancer Incidence in Oman Report (1996-2015) unveiled by the Ministry of Health (MoH), represented by the Department of Non-Communicable Diseases, under the auspices of Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health, in the presence of Dr Ahmed bin Salim al Mandhri, Regional Director of World Health Organization for East Mediterranean was an eye opener.