AIRLINK 78.61 Increased By ▲ 5.08 (6.91%)
BOP 4.65 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-0.43%)
CNERGY 4.03 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.5%)
DFML 36.48 Increased By ▲ 0.39 (1.08%)
DGKC 88.25 Increased By ▲ 1.70 (1.96%)
FCCL 22.29 Increased By ▲ 0.31 (1.41%)
FFBL 30.15 Increased By ▲ 0.14 (0.47%)
FFL 9.18 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
GGL 9.92 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (0.61%)
HASCOL 6.11 Decreased By ▼ -0.14 (-2.24%)
HBL 105.00 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.01%)
HUBC 137.50 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.04%)
HUMNL 10.65 Decreased By ▼ -0.10 (-0.93%)
KEL 4.64 Increased By ▲ 0.15 (3.34%)
KOSM 4.00 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.25%)
MLCF 37.13 Increased By ▲ 0.43 (1.17%)
OGDC 119.19 Decreased By ▼ -0.21 (-0.18%)
PAEL 23.98 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.04%)
PIBTL 6.07 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.33%)
PPL 114.05 Increased By ▲ 1.55 (1.38%)
PRL 23.17 Increased By ▲ 0.36 (1.58%)
PTC 12.20 Increased By ▲ 0.30 (2.52%)
SEARL 59.05 Increased By ▲ 0.65 (1.11%)
SNGP 61.98 Increased By ▲ 0.87 (1.42%)
SSGC 9.76 Increased By ▲ 0.11 (1.14%)
TELE 7.67 Increased By ▲ 0.12 (1.59%)
TPLP 9.48 Decreased By ▼ -0.06 (-0.63%)
TRG 63.72 Increased By ▲ 0.62 (0.98%)
UNITY 26.85 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.19%)
WTL 1.30 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.78%)
BR100 7,583 Increased By 39.5 (0.52%)
BR30 24,238 Increased By 202.6 (0.84%)
KSE100 72,797 Increased By 207.9 (0.29%)
KSE30 23,213 Increased By 76.4 (0.33%)

Today, on World Cancer Day we recognize the global struggle against cancer, a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. The known burden of cancer in Pakistan is enormous with nearly 200,000 new patients each year. The true burden is certainly higher, as many cases are never detected or treated. This year’s theme “closing the gap in care” underscores the need for comprehensive efforts to prevent, diagnose, and treat patients with cancer.

The first step in closing the gap remains prevention. Adequate screening enables timely treatment, allowing it to be more effective and less complex with a higher survival rate. However, accessibility to screening services remains limited. One solution is expanding public-private partnerships that focus on creating equitable screening programmes based on risk factors such as age and gender. Given that Breast Cancer, which is highly amenable to screening, is also the most common cancer in Pakistan, the dividends from investing in screening would be manifold.

Once a cancerous condition is detected, adequate treatment is necessary.

It is heartening that there are at least 26 well-established multidisciplinary academic centers in Pakistan, where teams of interdisciplinary doctors, nurses and specialists provide treatment to cancer patients. The issue is that we do not have enough of these centers. Access to such centers along with growth in their numbers is necessary to allow patients to receive the needed holistic treatment they deserve, including palliative care when required.

Another crucial step in lowering the cancer burden is monitoring and surveillance through registries. Several population-based cancer registries (PBCRs) developed globally, allow for the capture of morbidity, mortality and post-treatment outcomes at follow-up. We need to further strengthen registries that have been initiated in Pakistan as they are pivotal to developing tangible solutions. Whilst the fight against cancer remains tough worldwide, we have the knowledge of solutions that will make a big difference in Pakistan. By applying these through collective effort, we can close these gaps in care, save lives and positively impact our communities.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

Dr Adil Hussain Haider

The writer is Dean Aga Khan University

Comments

Comments are closed.