Precautionary measures should be taken to prevent the increasing cases of lung cancer, said an Al Ain-based doctor.
Tobacco smoking is the main cause of the disease and residents must abstain from the habit, said Dr Khalid Balaraj Al Amoudi, head of the Oncology Department at Tawam Hospital in Al Ain.
During a lecture, he noted a significant increase in the number of people diagnosed with lung cancer, being admitted to Tawam hospital.
“Lung cancer is the most common type of cancer especially among males and it results from smoking shisha, cigarettes and medwakh, especially among the youth,” he said.
“It is very important for people to abstain from smoking or using tobacco in all ways to avoid diseases. Smokers should seek treatment from health experts to help them quit the tobacco habit.”
The lecture, attended by many young UAE nationals, focused on the causes and effects of lung cancer and the role of smoking as it is the top cause of the disease.
Lung cancer symptoms, according to the doctor, manifest in persistent cough, hoarseness of the voice and other respiratory problems.
Dr Al Amoudi cleared some misconceptions people have about lung cancer, including beliefs that a diagnosis of the isease means certain death. He stressed that cancer can be treated and cured like any other disease on condition when detected early.
Over 12 facilities provide smoking cessation services across Abu Dhabi and people should make use of them to help them quit smoking for good, the doctor noted.
“Tobacco addicts should go to these smoking cessation clinics for help and get treated, so they can quit the bad habit which causes lung cancer,” he said.
The doctor explained that apart from helping one live longer, there are numerous benefits to quitting smoking – it improves the quality of life, making a person feel and even improves a person’s appearance and their sense of taste and smell.
According to the Health Authority, cancer is the third leading cause of death in the emirate. It is the second leading cause among nationals and the third among expatriates and accounts for 16 per cent of all total deaths.
In 2013, the authority reported 390 cancer deaths, 34 per cent were nationals and 66 per cent were expatriates. Forty-three per cent of these were females and 57 per cent were males.
Last year, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi launched a Smoking Cessation Programme to help people trying to quit the deadly habit, following the World No Tobacco Day 2017.
According to the fifth World Tobacco Atlas, an average of 27 people in the UAE die each week due to tobacco-related diseases.
While cigarettes are the highest smoking threat to public health, medwakh and shisha, which continue to be popular in the UAE, also pose a significant risk.