FAISALABAD: Nearly 50 per cent of cancer cases can be prevented if the people alter their lifestyles and reduce their exposure to cancer-causing agents, Nawazish Ali of the Cancer Treatment Centres of America said on Tuesday.
Ali made the remarks while delivering a special lecture on cancer screening and prevention at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF). He said consumption of products like niswar, gutka, betel nut and smoking greatly placed one at risk of developing cancer. Ali said the risk factor could go up to 90 per cent. He said this was the second-leading cause of fatalities.
Ali said the lifetime risk of developing cancer stood at one in two for men and one in three for women. He said 78 per cent of all kinds of cancer were diagnosed in people aged 55 years and above. Ali said intrinsic risk factors contributed only modestly to cancer development.
Shedding light on breast cancer, he said the incidence of the cancer in woman had been increasing. Ali said it was the leading life-taking cancer among women. Speaking about risk factors, he said, exposure of breast tissue to estrogen, radiation therapy and obesity caused the risk factor of developing the cancer to rise.
Turning to lung cancer, Ali said the cancer was a leading cause of cancer-related deaths for both men and women across the United States with 157,300 deaths recorded every year. He said smoking, obesity and using a tanning bed significantly increased the risk of developing lung cancer.
Punjab Medical College Principal Sardar Al-Farid Zafar said the city was home to a number of PhD researchers.
He stressed the need to formulate a platform to enable scientists to work on challenges confronting the people. Zafar also called for the establishment of a dedicated hospital to cater for the needs of the increasing number of cancer patients.
He said increasingly unhealthy lifestyles had exacerbated the incidence of cancer across the nation. Zafar called on those present on the occasion to strive to workout for at least 30 minutes everyday. He also counselled them to desist from consuming junk food. Zafar said lack of access to clean drinking water had increased the incidence of hepatitis C.
He said efforts had to be expedited to arrest the trend.
UAF Faculty of Food Nutrition and Home Sciences Dean Masood Sadiq Butt said having a balanced diet and leading a healthy lifestyle reduced the risk of developing a number of diseases.
He stressed on the need to undertake preventive measures saying that prevention was better than cure.
Butt stressed the importance of formulating a strategy to curb the increasing incidence of cancer.
UAF Office of Research Innovation and Commercialisation (ORIC) Director Asif Ali said the varsity had been striving to raise awareness regarding cancer among the people.
Cardiologist Naeem Aslam exhorted those present to make exercise an integral part of their routines. He said smoking and leading unhealthy lifestyles had been exacerbating the incidence of heart disease among people.