Smoking kills 23,000 every year

Updated 19 September 2014
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Smoking kills 23,000 every year

Smoking kills more than 23,000 smokers in the Kingdom every year, said Ahmed Albualli, chairman of the supervisory board at the Anti-Smoking Society (Naqaa), who expressed deep concern about the high incidence of smoking-related deaths in the Kingdom.
Albualli said that the society had succeeded in helping more than 61,000 smokers quit smoking, which is about 70 percent of the total number of patients who visited the society for help in quitting during the past year.
Saudi Arabia is the largest market for tobacco in the Middle East and ranks fourth for the number of smokers globally.
Albualli highlighted the seriousness of smoking, revealing that 90 percent of those who use drugs tried smoking at a young age and that smoking is the gateway to drug use.
In the UK, the proportion of smoking among male students has increased to 13 percent, compared with five percent among female students, while about 27 percent start smoking in elementary school and 53 percent start in middle school.
He said there is insufficient follow-up by authorities, as well as a lack of resources available for associations that fight smoking.
“Hiking prices alone won’t limit the lethal phenomenon,” he said.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), smoking kills 5 million people worldwide annually, of whom 23,000 are in the Kingdom.
Each cigarette contains 4,000 chemicals, and about 600,000 people die annually due to second-hand smoking, 40 percent of whom are children.
Albualli said the Kingdom ranks 23rd in the world in tobacco consumption, according to the WHO report for the Eastern Mediterranean region for 2004.
A recent study by the American Cancer Society showed that approximately 20 to 56 percent of youth in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries live in homes with smokers.
Fahd Al-Hamad, an educational supervisor, revealed to Arab News that young smokers start smoking during adolescence, mostly around the age of 13, due to peer pressure. He believes that raising the price of cigarettes to reduce the number of smokers has little effect.


Expert calls for self-examination for early detection of breast cancer

One in every eight women will suffer from breast cancer in her lifetime. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 October 2018
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Expert calls for self-examination for early detection of breast cancer

  • Women in Saudi Arabia have become more aware of the disease and receive support from their families

JEDDAH: In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Amel Merdad is providing a helpful guide about the disease to women .
Recent statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that more than 1.2 million breast cancer cases are diagnosed worldwide each year. Breast cancer kills more than 500,000 women a year. The disease ranks second in cancer incidence, after lung cancer, worldwide.
One in every eight women will breast cancer in her lifetime.
The evolution of scientific research and increased awareness have contributed significantly to the increase in recovery rates, as a result of early detection of the disease.
Ten percent of breast cancer cases occur as a result of genetic mutations inherited by the generations in a family.
The incidence of breast cancer increases with age, and it usually occurs after age 40. The average age of breast cancer patients in Saudi Arabia is 48 years and it is so worldwide. Dr. Merdad provided her advice on early screening methods. “Periodic self-breast examination helps women to be aware and familiar with their breasts so they can take care of them, being healthy and not only pretty.
Dr. Merdad added that self-breast examination is to be done once a month on the sixth or seventh day of the menstrual cycle from the age of 20 and forward. “In the case of menopause, self-examination takes place on the same date every month,” she said.
She also gave these useful guidelines:

Self testing
Stand in front of the mirror and look at the breasts to check for anything unusual, such as the presence of lumps or differences in the size of the breasts or the presence of swelling or changes in skin or nipple.
Put your hands behind your head to notice in the mirror for any difference in the lower part of your breasts. Put your hands on your waist and bend forward slightly with the pressure of the shoulders and elbows forward to check for any change in the shape or size of the breasts.
Lift your left hand and use three fingers from the right hand to examine the left breast in a circular way from the outer edge of the breast and in the direction of the nipple, focusing on the area between the breast and armpit and area under the armpit.
Repeat this step with your right breast. Press the nipple gently to observe any abnormal discharge. Repeat the previous steps while lying on your back.

Screening
Age 20-40 years old: Self-examination is recommended monthly. Also check with your doctor every three years. An ultrasound is recommended for the breast examination only if necessary.
Age 40-65 years: Self-examination is recommended monthly and check with the doctor every year. Mammograms are indicated once every one to two years for all women.
More than 65 years: Monthly self-examination and check with your doctor annually. Schedule a mammogram every two to five years.
Dr. Merdad said that taking care of a woman psychologically plays an important role in enhancing the cure rate.
“To all women. Protect your health, have a great life, and screen yourselves for breast cancer,” she added.