Asking “Three Key Questions” Could Reduce Mortality Rates in the Country
Doctors at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi are advising at-risk patients to see their doctor for a cancer screening during November, which is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
Lung cancer is most common cause of death from cancer and the most common cancer in men worldwide, according to the Department of Health Abu Dhabi. Physicians believe that enhanced primary healthcare and increased screening could help save lives in the UAE.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has identified around 150 cases of lung cancer through its screening program. By expanding the screening program, patients can be diagnosed earlier, improving overall survival rates.
Dr. Ali Saeed Wahla, Staff Physician Pulmonology in the Respiratory & Critical Care Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi said, “Our recommendation is that people ask themselves three key questions: Am I over 50? Have I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years or midwakh, dokha or other forms of tobacco for 20 years? Have I smoked in the past 15 years?”
“If the answer to these questions is yes, patients may be candidates for lung cancer screening,” he added.
Patients who are current smokers can be enrolled in the hospital’s internationally-recognized smoking cessation program, if they fulfil the eligibility criteria.
Dr. Wahla said: “The primary message to the younger generation is simple – don’t start smoking. For long-term smokers who have already caused damage to their lungs, they are encouraged to review their lifestyle choices and ask for lung cancer screening to catch the disease in its early stages.”
The annual screening includes a low-dose CT scan to explore any lesions in the lungs. If any lesions are identified a biopsy may be required. A biopsy can be taken by bronchoscopy, CT-guided biopsy, or by surgery.
There are four stages of lung cancer. In the first and second stage, which is where the screening program aims to catch the lung cancer, it is usually curable with surgery. In the second stage, chemotherapy may also be needed. Most third stage lung cancer is treated with chemotherapy and radiation, although some may require surgery. Stage four, the final stage, is treated with chemotherapy and radiation. There is no cure for stage four cancer – doctors work to control and alleviate the symptoms, in order to improve patients’ quality of life.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi offers a range of diagnostic, surgical, medical and palliative treatments for lung cancer patients and will introduce a range of enhanced services in 2019.
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