Egyptians are seeing soaring rates of colon cancer and obesity. Researcher links this to a change in diet. A McDonald’s sign in Arabic. Image via davidberkowitz
Professor of Oncology and the Director of the al-Qasr el-Aini Center for the Treatment of Tumors Yasser Abdul Kader said that colon cancer in Egypt ranges from between two to 6% of the total amount of cancer cases reported annually in Egypt.
He said that the number of colon cancer cases in Egypt is three-times higher among men than women. According to the professor, who was speaking at a local conference on the occasion of the international month to raise awareness of colon cancer, said that 30% of patients infected are younger than 45-years-old.
Abdul Kader added that the cause of the spread of colon cancer in Egypt is “due to the change of food habits of the citizens, as well as reliance on fast food, which is saturated fat and the prevalence of obesity.”
Why is there so much colon cancer in Egypt?
He continued that “in addition to this, smoking is another cause for the spread, and lifestyles do not encourage exercise and type II diabetes, indicating that colon cancer can be easily treated on the condition of early diagnosis, where the treatment success rate is high and can reach 90 percent in that situation.”
For his part, Mohammed Abul, a professor of nutrition at Cairo University, said that there is a close relationship between obesity and tumors of the digestive system, pointing out that the prevalence of obesity in Egypt is “up to 50 percent in men and more than 70 percent in women, as well as a faulty diet for most people, especially with the increasing rates of eating red meat at the expense of vegetables and fruit and the lack of exercise and sports, as well as avoiding eating fiber and preferring food with high salt.”
Mohsen Mokhtar, an Assistant Professor of Oncology and head of the Cancer Patients Support Association stressed that the association has launched an awareness campaign for the prevention and early detection of colon cancer, warning that “colon cancer is one of the main tumors affecting the digestive system, where the rate of infection is 5% of total cases of cancer in the world.”
He added that the total deaths per year are about 700,000 across the world, with 2000 cases a day, pointing to the presence of worrisome signs in Egypt “for a higher incidence of cancer among young people under the age of 30.”