The graphic on the cover page of this issue clearly illustrates the growing cooperation and expanding partnerships of the Gulf Federation for Cancer Control with regional and global institutions dealing with cancer. It is an indication that GFFCC is a key and vital partner of these institutions in implementing regional and global cancer initiatives and strategies at the gulf region. GFFCC continues to expand its presence in the gulf area with the new addition of a 14th member association. GFFCC is a member of the High Advisory Committee of the Cancer Control Centre located at King Faisal Hospital in Riyadh under the umbrella of the Board of Health Ministers’ Council for the Gulf Cooperation Council States and we are all lucky that the Centre is headed by Dr. Ali Zahrani who we are sure, will set in motion the cancer control program in the whole region.
The strategy of the cancer control program in the Arab world was started at Abdul Aziz Hospital, Riyadh in February 2011. Since we are located in the gulf area, we support the initiatives already made and implement the same strategy in our area. In Kuwait, we have organized a palliative conference and were able to prepare an action plan for palliative services in the Arab world. We reviewed and analyzed the current situation of palliative care in Kuwait, the gulf region and other Arab countries and prepared recommendations to improve the effective delivery of palliative care services in the region. At the same time, we are preparing for a conference on Cancer Prevention in the Arab World: Applied Strategy to be held in Kuwait on 17-19 November 2012. In this conference, we will discuss the applied strategy in cancer prevention as mentioned in the Riyadh conference. Together we can achieve our goal by cooperation and interaction.
Cancer prevention is currently a big challenge in the Arab world. Cancer is already a major problem and the lifestyle changes among the population have markedly increased the rates of cancer incidence in the population. While breast cancer remains the greatest problem in the female population, other types of cancer such lung, prostate and colorectal cancer appear to be increasing in the male population. Obesity, smoking and sedentary lifestyle are some of the common attributes that lead to cancer. We must improve our efforts on prevention to combat cancer in the region.
Dr. Khaled Al Saleh