Half of cancers preventable, half treatable: health official  

January 27, 2019

TEHRAN — While nearly 56,000 people die of cancer per annum half of all cancers are preventable and the other half are treatable, deputy health minister Reza Malekzadeh has said. 

Malekzadeh made the remarks on Sunday over the inauguration of 75 early cancer detection centers nationwide on the occasion of the national cancer week, IRNA news agency reported. 

In 2017 some 380,000 deaths occurred in Iran and 16 percent of them were caused by cancers, he said, adding that, cancer is the second leading cause of death in Iran.

Sven most common cancers in Iran include breast, gastric, colon, lung, bladder, prostate, and leukemia, he explained.

The main cause of cancers are unhealthy lifestyle habits such as poor diet, physical inactivity, obesity and overweight, smoking, consuming alcohol, as well as infections, jobs that increase cancer risk and hormonal imbalances, he highlighted. 

For one gastric and esophageal cancer are prevalent in northern Iran due to hookah smoking, poor oral and dental hygiene, drinking hot tea, smoking tobacco and obesity, he added.

Malekzadeh went on to say that one of the most significant measures taken to fight cancers in Iran is carrying out studies on most common cancers in Iran and so far some 54 cancer research projects are financially supported. 

As 30-50 percent of cancers are preventable knowing the risk factors can help in avoiding developing them, he suggested.

Good oral ad dental hygiene, eating enough vegetables and fresh fruits and having clean drinking water, physical activity, not smoking tobacco and avoid drinking alcohols can help preventing cancers, he added. 

Some 62 percent of those who develop cancers are treated and should be careful about their diet and physical activities, Malekzadeh concluded.

Deputy health minister Alireza Raeisi, for his part, explained that breast cancer constitute 32 percent of all cancers in the country while prostate cancer make up 16 percent of cancer nationwide.

Moreover, Raeisi noted, skin cancer as well as gastric and colon cancers each make up 14 and 13 percent of cancers respectively. 

In the Iranian calendar year 1394 (March 2015 to March 2016) some 108,798 new cases of cancer were diagnosed with 54 percent of them developed in men, he explained.

Gastric cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, and bladder cancer are the most prevalent cancers among Iranian men respectively, he added.

Raeisi went on to say that breast cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer, gastric cancer and thyroid cancer are also the most widespread cancers among Iranian women.

Commenting on cancer registry in Iran the deputy health minister said that collection, storage, and management of data on persons with cancer id going well in Iran which would make it easier for planning for the disease on national level.

Data from cancer registries tells how many people are diagnosed with cancer, what treatments they have, how long they live, and whether this is getting better or worse. This information can then be used to help plan cancer services and identify where further progress is needed in order to improve the lives of all people affected by cancer.

MQ/MG