Gulf Cancer
Participants on the final day of the 5th Combined Gulf Cancer Conference organised by Friend of Cancer Patients (FOCP) in Sharjah

Sharjah: The importance of establishing a reference centre for cancer research was the highlight of the recommendations presented by cancer researchers and entities in the GCC during the closing ceremony of the 5th Combined Gulf Cancer Conference held in Sharjah on Wednesday.

Friend of Cancer Patients (FOCP), organisers of the conference, in collaboration with Gulf Federation for Cancer Control (GFCC) and Gulf Centre for Cancer Control and Prevention (GCCCP), will advocate the outcomes of the recommendation, to adopt the principles of sustainable health development, collaborate with NGOs and enable them to work in creating awareness for the need of screening and early detection.

Dr. Ali Al Zahrani, executive director of GCCCP, shared the recommendations from cancer experts on the importance of communication and fostering a culture of medical consultancy.

Gulf Cancer conference
Sawsan Jafar, Chairperson, Board of Directors of FOCP, along with Dr Khaled Ahmed Al Saleh, General Secretary of the Gulf Federation for Cancer Control, and Dr. Ali Al Zahrani, Executive Director of GCCCP, and Dr Taha Al Lawati, Board Member, Oman Cancer Association Image Credit:

They also highlighted the importance of harnessing modern technology, particularly in early detection and treatment and its essential role and great economic viability, cost-effectiveness and optimisation of resources.

Health professionals also advocated the need to support scientific research to further develop cancer care with a focus on palliative care to offer inclusive treatment services to patients.

Importance of media in enhancing awareness and correcting misconceptions about cancer to achieve social acceptance, raise awareness and increase early detection was also highlighted during the final remarks of the event. Moreover, communication with cancer patients and survivors, for reintegrating them to the society and engaging them in support and awareness programmes, were also included in the recommendations.

Key issues addressed

In her closing remarks, Aisha Al Mulla, director of FOCP, said: “This conference addressed key issues that will stimulate cancer prevention and control organisations in the GCC countries to strategise on developing activities and programmes, focus on enhancing the effectiveness of cancer prevention awareness programmes, and prioritise educating the community on the importance of early detection in combating cancer and continuing to provide excellence in health care.”

Sawsan Jafar, chairperson, Board of Directors of FOCP, along with Dr Khaled Ahmed Al Saleh, general secretary of the GFCC, was present during the closing remarks and recommendations of the three-day conference that was held at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre.

Research projects honoured

Three young researchers were lauded for their research abstract projects during the closing event. They were chosen from more than 25 presentations that were showcased at the CGCC. In the ‘Youth in Action’ category, Wafaa Abumustafa, a student at the University of Sharjah, ranked first, and Amal Bouzid, also from the same university ranked second, while Sedra Kremesh from Al Ain university ranked third.

In the ‘Experts from the Field’ category, Robert Hierner, a researcher from the Saudi-German Hospital Dubai, ranked first, and Poorna Manasa, a researcher from the University of Sharjah, ranked second, while Sabreena Safuan from Ajman University ranked third.

Dr Zahrani thanked the FOCP for its relentless efforts to ensure the success of the conference, noting that the sixth edition will take place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia next year.