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News & Press Release - 2012
Arab Genomic Studies
On the occasion of World Cancer Day: Hamdan Award issues a report on Cancers in Arabs
04 Feb 2012

On the occasion of World Cancer Day, on 4TH of February, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences’ Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS) issued, recently, a report on Cancers in Arabs.

The report, a preliminary survey, referred to at least 55 kinds of Cancers in Arab people, according to the statistics of CAGS’ Catalogue for transmission genetics in Arabs (CTGA), including intestinal carcinoid tumors, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, Lynch syndrome, cutaneous malignant melanoma, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, and others.

As per the report lung cancers and prostate are the most common among males, whereas Breast and Thyroid Cancers are the most common among females in the region.

Also, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar are mentioned as countries with 'high incidence' of breast cancer, and characterized by lower fertility rates, a rapid decline in early childbearing age, and a lower duration of breast feeding.

It is worthy to mention that although Arab females tend to develop breast cancer at least a decade earlier than their counterparts in Western countries, they do not present themselves for regular medical examination, results in late presentations.

Also, the report mentioned that despite the high intake of calories and consumption of animal fat, the annual incidence of prostate cancer in the male UAE population is very low when compared to Western Countries.  Yet, Arab males, in the absence of prostate cancer, have higher levels of serum Prostate Specific Antigen compared to global populations.

According to the report, most Cancers are genetic in origin, but inheriting cancer is not always as straightforward as it may seem.  Cancers are considered sporadic and may result from gene mutations that body cells may develop during the life of an individual due to environmental or lifestyle factors.  On the other hand, cancers that occur in families are usually due to inherited gene mutations.  In these cases, the occurrence of cancers in families is more often than would be expected by chance.  These cancers usually occur at an early age.

The report stressed on the importance of widespread availability of modern medical facilities and the increasing public awareness which have made possible the early detection and reliable diagnosis of a variety of cancer types in the region.

It is worthy to mention that UAE shows a continually increasing proportion of cancer burden imposing itself as the third leading cause of death after cardiovascular diseases and accidents.