Around 4,500 cases of cancer are reported in a year in the UAE and the country aims to bring down cancer fatalities to nearly 18 per cent by 2021. Reducing the number of deaths due to prostate cancer is one of the key performance indicators of the pillar of world-class health care of the UAE National Agenda. This was a key topic at a recently held panel discussion that focused on management of prostate cancer patients held by Emirates Urological Society.
The panel discussion witnessed the presence of several key experts. Moderating the panel discussion was Dr Humaid Al Shamsi, President of Emirates Oncology Society (EOS). He was joined by other experts including Dr Neal Shone, Dr Jawaher Ali Ansari and Dr Yasser Farhat.
“Early detection is key to managing prostate cancer. When the disease is in its initial stages (0-II), less aggressive treatment is needed, and the survival rate is almost 100 percent. However, if left undetected and allowed to progress to other areas in the body, the five-year survival rate drops significantly to 30 percent,” said Dr Shamsi.
Elaborating on the need to increase awareness about this cancer that affects men, he said, “Every male above the age of 45 must take a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. A PSA test is a simple blood test which is used to screen for prostate cancer, helping with early detection.”
At the panel discussion, panellists were offered an opportunity to hear directly from patients of prostate cancers. The summit focused on the often-overlooked emotional burden of the disease, with the aim of allowing the parties to establish a needs-based support programme to address ways of improving cancer patients’ day-to-day quality of life.
In addition, the discussion also highlighted UAE’s efforts in introducing advanced technology to treat cancer, as well as brought to focus latest trends, enhanced facilities and deployment of experts by the UAE which has been a key force in aiding patients with the right treatment.
Symptoms of prostate cancer usually appear during the late stages of the disease, as such experts at the panel encouraged a screening via genetic testing for men with a strong family history of cancer - such as prostate, breast, pancreatic or colon cancer - in order to better understand their risk.