Screening and Early Intervention Improve Chances of Survival, say Doctors
Doctors from Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi have expressed concern about the rising number of patients suffering from fatty liver and other liver diseases, which can lead to liver cancer – one of the most common forms of cancer.
October is Liver Cancer Awareness Month, a campaign to encourage people to be screened for liver cancer, which is one of the most dangerous forms of the disease and one which continues to increase in incidence.
Dr. Shiva Kumar, Chief of Gastroenterology & Hepatology in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, said: “Liver cancer is often diagnosed in the later stages because there are no obvious symptoms early on. We are deploying a three- pronged strategy to encourage patients to make lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of developing liver disease; know the warning signs and have regular screenings;and see a specialist for early intervention if they do develop cancer.”
There are two types of liver cancer: primary, which originates in the liver, and secondary, where patients have suffered from cancer in another organ, but it has spread to the liver.
Because of the high levels of diabetes, hypertension and obesity in the UAE, the country is seeing a rising number of patients with fatty liver disease, which significantly increases the risk of developing liver cancer.
Among the most common symptoms are unexplained weight loss, as well as weakness, fatigue, poor appetite and nausea. A yellow tinge to the skin or the whites of the eyes are also warning signs, as are abdominal swelling and upper abdominal pain.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi provides a comprehensive range of diagnostic and surgical services for cancer patients and works with a network of leading partners for chemotherapy. The hospital is working to introduce an enhanced range of services in 2019, based on demand from the community.
Dr. Kumar explained: “It’s always better to prevent disease or to treat it in the early stages. Our multi-disciplinary team offers a wide spectrum of options for evaluation and treatment of patients diagnosed with liver cancer. Treatment can be very effective, particularly if liver cancer is detected early through screening.”
Patients who wish to book an appointment can visit: https://www.clevelandclinicabudhabi.ae/en/patients-and-visitors/forms-and-documents/pages/request-an-appointment.aspx.