Manama: Cancer is the third-leading cause of death in Qatar, health experts said at a workshop organised by the country's Supreme Council of Health (SCH) as part of programmes to mark World Cancer Day.

"Studies indicate that cancer ranks third in Qatar in terms of diseases leading to death," Shaikh Mohammad Bin Hamad Al Thani, Director of the Public Health Department at the SCH said.

"There are many risk factors that lead to cancer. With early detection and the necessary intervention, incidents of cancer can be reduced," Al Thani said.

Dr Roqiyya Adnan Saleh, from the anti-cancer section of Qatar's Department of Public Health, said that Qatar had recorded a total of 5,019 cases of cancer from 1999 to 2008, of which 1,659 were Qataris and 3,360 non-Qataris.

"Cancer ranks third among the leading causes of deaths in Qatar.

"The disease caused 175 deaths in the country in 2008, out of which 96 were of males. In 2007 it had caused 7.9 million deaths globally," she said, quoted by Qatari daily The Peninsula. The causes of death varied between men and women. Cancers of the lung, stomach and liver were the main causes of death among men, while in women breast cancer, followed by lung and stomach cancers were the leading causes.

The most common type of cancer in Qatar is breast cancer, accounting for 24 per cent of all cases, and occurring mainly among women between 40 and 60 years of age.

"A majority, or 60 per cent, of cancers can be prevented by early detection, avoiding risk factors or changing lifestyles. These include exercise, proper diet, avoiding excess exposure to the sun's harmful rays, and cessation of smoking," Dr Saleh said.

According to Al Thani, the Gulf region, particularly Qatar, has seen increasing incidents of cancer over the past few years and the disease is now seen as one of the leading causes of death all over the world.


The World Health Organisation predicts that cancer will account for 45 per cent of deaths worldwide between 2007 and 2030.

It also predicts a significant increase in new cancer cases in the same period.

At a glance: Taking its toll

  • 175 - cancer deaths in the country in 2008
  • 7.9m - deaths globally due to cancer in 2007



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