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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Prevention of Cancer: Lessons to Be Learnt from the West

Sher Mohammad Khan, MSc, FRCP, FRCR, -----, Pakistan Anti Smoking Society, 2 J Afghani Road, University Town, Peshawar, Pakistan, Mah Muneer Khan, MBBS, FCPS, FRCS, Surgery, Khyber Medical College and Khyber Teaching Hospital, 2 J Afghani Road, University Town, Peshawar, Pakistan, and Cyrus Mohammad Ali Khan, MBBS, -----, Currently training, 2 J Afghani Road, University Town, Peshawar, Pakistan.

Objective: To identify the commonest cancers in the North West of Pakistan and to discuss the preventable causes.

Methods: A retrospective study of patients presenting to the Institute of Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine (IRNUM), Peshawar, Pakistan, between 1990 and 2003

Results: Between 1990 and 2003, 50837 patients were admitted to IRNUM. Seventy-six percent were from North West of Pakistan while 23% were Afghans. 1% were from other regions.Adult males were 24275 (47.8%) and females, 20600(40.5%). The ten commonest tumours among males were lymphoma, skin tumours, esophageal, lymphoid leukaemia, oral cancers, brain tumours, myloid leukaemia, urinary bladder tumours, soft tissue sarcomas and prostate cancers. Among females, breast cancer ranked the highest while oral cancers ranked 9th.

The common malignancies of the developed nations, such as lung, prostate, colorectal cancer occur but were low on the list. Lung cancer, is caused by tobacco. The traditional high fibre diet in the East is changing more to refined foods and we may see more stomach and colorectal cancers.

Valuable land in Pakistan and other countries is used for tobacco cultivation. Cigarette consumption has increased due to the ruthless cigarette campaigns and the apathy of the medical profession.

The developing countries, who have meagre resources, need to adopt preventive measures. The developing nations have to learn from the industrialized world in terms of science, technology, humanitarian work and perhaps pro-people system of government, but lessons have to be learnt from their mistakes, regarding environmental pollution, use of refined, processed and fatty food, alcohol, and tobacco use.