MDBriefCase will be unavailable due to maintenance from Sunday, January 14 11PM to Monday, January 15 1AM ET.

2024-02-08

Rising Cancer Rates in Saudi Arabia: How Clinicians Can Increase Awareness

Although the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has one of the lowest incidences of cancer worldwide, rates are currently on the rise. The prevalence of certain cancers has increased by 300 percent nationwide, a change researchers are attributing to widespread lifestyle changes. 

Experts predict that cancer rates in Saudi Arabia will double by 2030. As a clinician, you can help raise cancer awareness by discussing risks and symptoms with patients.

Lesser-Known Risk Factors

Without a robust cancer prevention system nationwide, many Saudi patients are unaware of significant cancer risks. These are three of the most important to educate on.

Obesity

There is a strong connection between obesity and many cancer types. WHO data shows that one in three people in KSA is obese, while 68.2 percent are overweight. These rates are largely due to a dramatic increase in salt, fat, and sugar consumption across the region. 

Low Dietary Fibre Intake

A diet heavier in salt and fat may also be lower in fibre. Unfortunately, a reduced fiber intake may increase a person’s risk of¬†colorectal cancer.¬†

Increasingly Sedentary Lifestyles

Physical inactivity contributes to cancer development and obesity. According to the WHO, 25 percent of men and nearly 40 percent of women in the Middle East are insufficiently active. Among adolescents, 85 percent of boys and 90 percent of girls lack enough exercise.

Hepatitis B

Patients with hepatitis B (HBV) have a 25 percent to 40 percent chance of developing liver cancer. Worldwide, HBV infection causes 54 percent of liver cancers.

HBV is widespread in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East. Yet, only 20 percent of Saudis report knowing how the disease spreads or how to prevent it. 

Patients need to understand the connection between HBV and cancer to keep themselves safe.

Early Warning Signs

Because cancer rates in KSA have been historically low, universal cancer screenings are not widespread. By identifying the following warning signs and educating patients about them, clinicians can help more patients receive timely treatment.

Unexplained Weight Loss

Significant weight loss is a reliable warning sign for several cancers. It is a reliable enough marker to warrant clinical follow-up, particularly when the picture includes other symptoms. 

Change in Bowel Habits

An unexplained change in bowel habits, including new and persistent diarrhea or constipation, may be a sign of colorectal cancer. The risk is higher for patients with other risk factors, particularly if the patient is under 55.

Clinicians should encourage patients to be aware of such changes and bring them to their doctor’s attention, especially when the person is 55 or older.

Unusual Bleeding

Unexplained blood loss is a potential sign of many kinds of cancer, including uterine cancer and blood cancers. Rectal bleeding, in particular, is a possible predictor of colorectal cancer. All patients should know to seek medical advice if they have unexpected bleeding.

Stay Current With MDBriefCase

Understanding cancer’s signs and risk factors is critical to providing excellent patient care. To stay current, explore accredited¬†oncology courses¬†with MDBriefCase. Not a member? Join for free today!¬†

 

Author Agreement

In submitting your work (the ‚ÄúWork‚ÄĚ) for potential posting on the MDBriefCase Healthcare Leadership Academy website (the ‚ÄúWebsite‚ÄĚ), you (‚ÄúYou‚ÄĚ) expressly agree to the following:

Review: MDBriefCase is pleased to consider the publication of Your Work on the Website.   The suitability of the Work for posting shall be determined by MDBRiefCase at its sole discretion. Nothing herein shall obligate MDBriefcase to post or otherwise publish the Work, or the maintain its posting in future.   

Editing; Identification: MDBriefcase shall have the right to edit the Work to conform to our standards of style, technological requirements, language usage, grammar and punctuation, provided that the meaning of the Work is not materially altered.  If posted, You will be identified as the author of the Work, or co-author if applicable.  

Grant of Rights:  As a condition of publication and for no monetary compensation, You hereby grant to MDBriefCase the following rights to the Work in any and all media whether now existing or hereafter developed, including print and electronic/digital formats:  (1) the exclusive right of first publication worldwide;  (2) the perpetual non-exclusive worldwide right to publish, reproduce, distribute, sell, adapt, perform, display, sublicense, and create derivative works, alone or in conjunction with other materials; (3) the perpetual non-exclusive worldwide right to use the Work, or any part thereof, in any other publication produced by MDBriefCase and/or on MDBriefCase’s website; and (4) the perpetual non-exclusive worldwide right to use the Work to promote and publicize MDBriefCase or its publications.  The grant of rights survives termination or expiration of this Agreement.    

Warranty:  You warrant that the Work is original with You and that it is not subject to any third party copyright; that You have authority to grant the rights in this Agreement; that publication of the Work will not libel anyone or infringe on or invade the rights of others; that You have full power and authority to enter into this Agreement; that the Work has not been published elsewhere in whole or in part; and that You have obtained permission from the copyright owner consistent with this Agreement for any third party copyrighted material in the Work.  This warranty survives termination or expiration of this Agreement.

Submission Agreement

Thank you for your interest in writing an article for the MDBriefCase Healthcare Leadership Academy website.

Audience and Appropriate Topics

The  Healthcare Leadership Academy welcomes submissions on all topics relevant to leaders in healthcare. Our topics include Leading in Healthcare, Leadership Lessons from COVID-19 and others. We prioritize stories that provide leadership advice to executives and managers in healthcare companies, offer actionable strategies for executing successful projects, and provide interesting angles on current healthcare topics. Submissions must be original work of the authors and unpublished.  When submitting, authors represent that they have included no material that is in violation of the rights of any other person or entity.

Parameters

Articles must be educational and non-promotional. If they mention the author’s company or any of the company’s products or services by name within the text, such mention should be very limited and used for reference only, not for promotion. (For example, an author might cite a survey conducted by his company but not describe his company’s product as a solution to a business problem.) Articles will be edited for clarity, style and brevity. The final headline is determined by the editor.

Length of Submissions

Guest articles for the MDBriefCase Healthcare Leadership Academy may run between 500 and 1000 words. 

Review

MDBriefCase reserves the right to accept or reject any submission  and the right to condition acceptance upon revision of material to conform to its criteria.   

No Compensation

There is no payment for contributed articles. However, MDBriefCase will give the author a byline. Authors are invited to link to the article on personal  websites, corporate websites and social media platforms.

Author Agreements

Each author understands and agrees that any submission accepted for posting is provided subject to MDBriefCase’s Author Agreement.