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A recent Qatari study found that Arab countries recorded higher rates of Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, bladder, breast and liver cancers.
The study, led by Dr. Maryam Al-Muftah and Dr. Faris Al-Ajja from Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), aimed to compare cancer trends in Arabic-speaking countries with countries around the world.
The research team used data from the World Cancer Observatory to shed light on the incidence and mortality patterns of different cancers in Arabic-speaking countries.
The study found significant differences in cancer and death rates around the world, and although overall rates appeared to be lower in the Arab countries in most cancers, Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, bladder, breast and liver cancers showed higher incidence rates in the Arab countries.
There are two types of lymphoma:
- Hodgkin's lymphoma (Hodgkin's lymphoma) is named after its discoverer Thomas Hodgkin, and is characterized by the presence of cells called "Reed-Sternberg cells" in the lymph nodes and some other lymph tissue, and usually affects the age groups between 15 and 40 years and over 55.
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and these cells are not present.
Arab countries are also witnessing an increase in the mortality rate of both sexes for all types of cancer.
Research has also shown that cancer rates in some organs are higher in certain age groups in some Arab countries than the global average.
The study also reveals differences in the distribution of incidence rates within the Arab countries, for example, the Levant region is witnessing a wide prevalence of breast cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and some Arab Gulf countries also witness higher rates of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma compared to the global average.
Hodgkin's lymphoma appears to have higher incidence rates in most Arab countries.
Smoking remains one of the leading causes of cancer in the region, with higher rates of lung and throat cancer among young males (under 50 years old) in some Arab countries compared to the rest of the world.
"Cancer is still a major health challenge globally, and this challenge is expected to become more difficult in the coming years, and although the population of the Arab countries currently exceeds the population of the United States and the European Union, it has not paid enough attention to cancer incidence and mortality rates in the Arab countries, so this comprehensive study comes to provide information about cancer incidence and mortality rates in the Arab countries while continuing to emphasize the importance of conducting More similar studies under joint international efforts."
For her part, Dr. Mariam Al-Muftah stressed that the results of this study have an important impact on the areas of cancer prevention, treatment and research in the Arab countries, adding that "by understanding the unique patterns of cancer in the region, targeted interventions can be developed, including early vaccination programs, early detection initiatives, as well as awareness campaigns tailored to specific population groups with the aim of significantly reducing cancer rates and improving the overall health of the population."
Source : Al Jazeera + Qatar News Agency (QNA)