According to medical experts, esophageal cancer is increasing in Pakistan, and quitting smoking and alcohol, eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising, and receiving appropriate treatment for gastric acidity can all help to prevent the disease. This cancer type is the world’s fourth leading cause of death. This cancer used to affect the aged, however due to the increased usage of betel leaf and gutka, it is increasingly spreading among the youth.
In partnership with the Surgical Unit of the Civil Hospital, an awareness session on esophageal cancer was held in the Moin Auditorium of Dow Medical College. Dr. Najib Nematullah, Dr. Irfan Dawoodi, and Prof. Sajida Qureshi, all oncologists, spoke to the gathering.
Dr. Najib Nematullah stated that esophageal cancer fatalities accounted for 5.5 percent of total cancer deaths in 2020, while the rate of this cancer is 3.1 percent.
Read more: Types of Cancers Prevailing in Pakistan
According to Dr. Saad Khalid Niaz, there is presently no test for early detection of esophageal cancer; however, artificial intelligence technologies are being utilized, therefore it is vital to pay attention to its diagnosis in conjunction with other symptoms.
“Most individuals have misunderstandings about biopsy,” he continued, “but if they have misconceptions about endoscopy, these assumptions and misconceptions are a barrier to treatment.”
The signs of this disease, according to Dr. Sajida Qureshi, include trouble swallowing food, irregular weight loss, sore throat, and food recurrence.
He went on to say that the risk of esophageal cancer in Karachi is 6.8% for men and 5.3 percent for women. The Dow University-run Civil Hospital Karachi’s surgical unit is the only place in Pakistan where esophageal cancer can be diagnosed and treated for free. There is a way to get rid of it.
Prof. Muhammad Saeed Qureshi believes that there is a need to expand esophageal cancer treatment centers at the government level, build endoscopic units, and raise cancer awareness in its initial stages using digital media. In order to diagnose, taluka hospitals must engage specialists in various diseases and train a significant number of young doctors in the field of gastroenterology.