Fears Over Growing Cancer Diagnoses in Young People in the Middle East

This week we were shocked by news of a new study in the Middle East.  This study has found that young people across the UAE and Saudi Arabia are four times more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than their counterparts in the U.K and United States. We know that cancer doesn’t discriminate when it comes to who is affected, but this study found that almost half of new cancer cases being diagnosed in these countries are in people under the age of 50. In the United Kingdom, just 8% of new cancer cases affect 20 to 49 year olds. 

 

The reality of cancer in the Middle East

The most common cancers being diagnosed in the Middle East include breast, colorectal, thyroid and leukaemia. An article in Live Healthy Magazine stated that physicians are concerned by the increasing rates of colorectal cancer in young adults in the UAE in the last few decades. Unfortunately, colorectal cancer often presents without symptoms. This means that unless patients are screened regularly, it is unlikely to be detected at the earliest stage, when 90% of cases can be cured. Dr Ammar Kheir, a gastroenterologist at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has stated ‘the majority of cases could be prevented with proper screening’. Unfortunately, the current screening method used is a colonoscopy, which patients are only offered once they reach 40 years old. While it is largely painless, many people are put off by the invasiveness of the procedure. Meanwhile patients who develop the cancer earlier than 40 will continue to be missed. 

 

As we know, all cancers benefit from early diagnosis. Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, director general of Friends of Cancer Patients and head of the PCR Medical and Awareness Committee in the UAE has stated that ‘early detection and risk factor awareness are imperative to saving lives’. Breast cancer screening is available in the Middle East, but as yet, there are no early screening technologies currently being used to detect thyroid cancer or leukaemia. We hope that this will soon change, thanks to our growing presence in MENA locations. 

 

PanTum Detect offers simpler, cost-effective screening

RMDM’s early detection cancer blood test, PanTum Detect, enables the detection of

all types of cancer. It is the first proven liquid biopsy test to provide early detection of multiple cancers with a single test. Studies have shown that by identifying cancer early on, it is more likely to be treated successfully. 

This simple blood draw helps patients to avoid the discomfort of other conventional screening programs and facilitates early detection of cancers where there are no alternative screening options in place. It’s also less expensive than other cancer diagnosis techniques.

We launched PanTum Detect in Lebanon in 2019. However, we continually look to partner with healthcare providers in other MENA countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lebanon, Egypt and Qatar to demonstrate how our cancer technology, PanTum Detect, could help transform cancer diagnoses beyond the UK and Europe. Read our whitepaper on PanTum Detect to find out more or contact us using the form on our website.

 

Resources:

 

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2021/05/20/-Alarming-number-of-young-people-in-UAE-Saudi-Arabia-diagnosed-with-cancer-Study 

https://www.onlinescientificresearch.com/articles/higher-and-increasing-incidence-of-cancer-between-the-age-of-2049-years-in-the-uae-population-a-focus-analysis-of-the-uae-national.pdf 

https://www.livehealthymag.com/seven-reasons-to-get-a-colonoscopy/

https://gulfnews.com/uae/health/friends-of-cancer-patients-call-on-female-residents-in-uae-to-undergo-regular-breast-health-check-ups-1.79098099