Qatar celebrates World Cancer Day, on the 4th of February each year. On this date people from all over the world work unite together to minimize the global impact of cancer under the 2017 World Health Organization (WHO) theme ‘We Can - I Can’.
WHO theme ‘We Can – I Can’ means we can all do something together to reduce the impact of cancer. For example, all of us can choose to eat healthily and stop smoking to prevent the spread of cancer.
In addition, we can all educate ourselves on the signs and symptoms of cancer to ensure anything that could be of concern is picked up as early as possible. This then provides the best possible chance of recovery from cancer.
The Ministry of public Health is highlighting this year the importance of data in reducing the impact of cancer in Qatar. Data sources are across the spectrum and to enable the capture of good cancer data, MoPH created in 2014 the Qatar National Cancer Registry (QNCR). This is a further development from the previously established hospital cancer registry at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and both organizations work closely together.
Following international standards, and using an online application, healthcare providers dealing with cancer patients, from all over the State of Qatar report to the QNCR, both demographic and clinical data about cancer patients diagnosed and/or treated at their facilities.
Good cancer data and registration is crucial not only to the MoPH but helps Qatar contribute globally to the study of the disease. In May 2013 Brazil and Qatar became initiated as the two newest (WHO) International Agency Research in Cancer (IARC) Participating States. This was great honour, and as IARC’s first Participating State in the Gulf region, Qatar plays a leading role helping IARC formulate research priorities and develop new collaborative efforts with other countries of the Gulf region. Qatar also works closely with all of the regions’ cancer registries.
Everyone can play a part in beating cancer – from the partners in the National Cancer Program (the Ministry of Public Health, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and others) who are developing processes and services to facilitate prevention, early detection and diagnosis, treatment and long-term transitions, to the general public who make a decision every day about their lifestyle.