Posted on November 03, 2016

Qatar has all the capabilities to become a pioneer in cancer treatments in the Middle East, said Dr Philip A Salem, Lebanese-American director of the Salem Oncology Center in Houston, the US.

In an interview, Dr Philip said that the move to take the lead requires the provision of infrastructure for a developed centre that should be associated with an advanced specialised centre in oncology research and treatment in the United States. He said the world is witnessing new kinds of drugs for treatment of cancer tumours every two weeks, yet a lot of countries in the world, especially the Arab world, do not even hear about them. He pointed out that health sector does not take priority in many countries around the world, even in the United States, which is contrary to the basic foundations that must be followed because the right to health must come ahead of all human rights.

Dr Philip said one of the main reasons for the failure of the Arab world in health sector is the lack of research institutions and distinguished universities that have the distinct advanced potential for research or the existence of centres specialising in the research. "On the contrary, some other countries have focused on this part and made significant progress while the Arab world countries are still in lower ranks," he said. He added that there are hundreds of researchers and doctors working 24/7 to discover and test new medications and drugs.
Dr Philip said that Qatar has already accomplished many important things in health sector, suggesting the establishment of a national oncology centre that should be linked to an advanced specialised oncology centre in the United States. He stressed that the linking would be important for the development of treatments and research as the oncology centres in the United States are very developed compared to the European centres, adding that the United States has many sources of help in this area. "Physicians can also benefit from this through creating a scientific bridge between Qatar and the United States same like the one made between the United States and Italy and the United States and Mexico," Dr Philip said.

To ensure the use of correct method of treatments, he said doctors must receive proper training as there should be a team of trained doctors and nurses. "Besides, we should provide doctors who specialise in cancer surgery and radiation therapy," he said.
He lamented that 30 percent of diagnosis of tumours made by doctors is wrong despite the fact that the most important step in the treatment is a correct diagnosis. There are already more than 200 types of cancer and some treatments have succeeded in curing some of them, he added.

source: Qatar Tribune