HMC’s (Hamad Medical Corporation) National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR) is still treating patients from blockading states, despite illegal siege.
Though some cases are old, there are other patients who are new at NCCCR. “There are patients coming from the neighbouring states: these are patients from Bahrain, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. They come here because they have relatives, or hear about our services.
Some of them started treatment before the blockade,” said Dr Mohammed Ussama Al Homsi, Senior Consultant Physician, Chairman of Medical Oncology and Hematology Department, NCCCR.
“Even during the blockade we are receiving patients from neighbouring countries; we are not closing the door for them, we are serving them in the best way.
Patients from the Gulf States are receiving treatment same as the Qatari patients,” he added.
The number of patients receiving treatment at the NCCCR has gone up since 2004 due to various reasons, including rise in population.
According to available data, a total of 1400 new cancer cases were diagnosed in 2016 and 220 of them were Qataris. Also 1600 in-patients were admitted for treatment at the NCCCR in 2016, while 1430 patients received day-care services, 2400 visited the outpatient clinics, and 6615 have sought urgent care.
The most seen type of cancer was breast cancer, constituting 30 percent of all malignant cancer cases, followed by colorectal across all nationalities and genders. Also lung cancer was the third most common in Qatar.
Dr Al Homsi said that the number of lung cancer cases are increasing as result of smoking, which is common in Qatar as well as other countries. He also said that smoking contributes around 30 percent of deaths of all types of cancers and 85% of patients diagnosed with lung cancer are smokers.