Over 33,305 malignant cases recorded in Karachi Cancer Registry database

World Cancer Day: Free treatment of cancer in Pakistan

 KARACHI: A report from Karachi Cancer Registry (KCR) has revealed that Oral Cancer, a largely preventable, is the leading cancer in Karachi adult males while in female adults Breast Cancer is leading cancer followed by Oral Cancer.

From Jan 2017 till Dec 2019 a total of 33,309 malignant cases were recorded in the KCR database comprising 17,490 (52.5 percent) females and 15,819 (47.5 percent) males.

As per KCR, this alarming scenario demands urgent attention to increasing awareness about healthy lifestyle and highly adverse effects of chewing various ingredients on one hand and screening programs for early detection of Breast and Oral Cancer on the other.

Chair of Karachi Cancer Registry, and Professor at Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Aga Khan University Hospital Dr. Shahid Pervez said,  “The objective of KCR is to collect cancer data from major cancer diagnosing and treating hospitals of Karachi”, he stated.

Prof.  Pervez, who is also Co-Chair National Cancer Registry said that cancer was the second leading cause of death in Pakistan, while the same disease was the leading cause of death in the developed counties.

He said that the purpose of the cancer registries was to collect the cancer incidence data to provide essential information to healthcare providers, government, and researchers to identify major risk factors in a population, based on their lifestyle. He maintained that cancer registries were the foremost requirement for ‘Cancer Control Programs’ in any country like ‘Prevention’ and ‘Screening’.

Cancer registries also own a purpose to prioritize government policies and fund allocation, he said, adding that in that way the burden of cancer is reduced. He informed participants that KCR was a part of the ‘National Cancer Registry’ established under the ministry of ‘National Health Services Regulations and Coordination’, Islamabad.

KCR started the collection of cancer data from 2017 and invited all cancer diagnosing and treating hospitals to send data on a voluntary basis, he added. He pointed out that from Jan 2017 till Dec 2019 a total of 33,309 malignant cases were recorded in the KCR database, which shows an alarming situation.

This situation also reveals that in children and adolescents Bone, Leukemia and Brain/CNS malignancies are most common, he said. He said, “Colo-rectal (large intestine) Cancer is on the in both genders. Liver Cancer is also a very common cancer due to a high burden of Hepatitis B & C in our population.”

his alarming scenario demands the urgent attention of the concerned authorities to increase awareness about healthy lifestyles and the highly adverse effects of chewing various ingredients, Prof.  Pervez said.

In the face of such a high risk and burden of various types of cancers and no screening programs ever in place, government attention at both provincial and central levels is urgently needed at preventive, early diagnostic (screening) as well as interventional levels, he added.