13,700 cancer cases reported in 2014

There were 13,700 cases of all types of cancer recorded in 2014, with a significant rise among women, a leading medical practitioner said recently.

About 10,000 citizens were afflicted with cancer, while the rest were expatriates, said Ahmad Al-Shahri, consultant oncology and head of the oncology department at King Abdulaziz Medical City, National Guard, in Jeddah.

According to the latest statistics issued by the National Cancer Registry, about 30 percent of deaths from cancer were caused by lifestyle behaviors such as unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, excess body weight, tobacco and alcohol.

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Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of cancer. It accounts for 22 percent of all cancer deaths globally, and 71 percent of lung cancer deaths. Al-Shahri said that the health adviseries have been issued to coincide with World Cancer Day, which is held on Feb. 4 every year. The Kingdom is planning to hold several events to mark the occasion, which includes awareness and education programs.

He said the global event is aimed at boosting awareness particularly prevention and treatment, and educating families on how to cope with a sufferer.

He said cancer is a big burden on health systems worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, about 14 million cancer cases were diagnosed in 2012. It is expected that the figure will increase by 70 percent over the next two decades. Other reports indicate the figure will double by 2030 in developing countries, to 22 million cases.

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