As part of its efforts to deliver meaningful breakthroughs to people living with cancer and to mark World Cancer Day, today, Pfizer renewed its partnerships with local UAE-based cancer patient societies Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) and Emirates Oncology Society. Pfizer will lend its support to raise awareness, encourage early detection and support the treatment of cancer in the UAE, reinforcing its commitment to advancing oncology care in the country.
Taking place annually on the 4th of February, World Cancer Day seeks to raise cancer awareness and reduce its incidence. Worldwide, one in five people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes, and in the UAE, cancer is the third leading cause of death. Alarmingly, research has demonstrated that the incidence of cancer is on the rise among younger patients below the age of 50 in the UAE, at a rate of more than four times the average compared to the US, UK and Canada.
Speaking about partnerships, Lindsey Dietschi, Gulf Cluster Lead, Pfizer said, ” With a heavy toll on families, communities and wider society, simply put, cancer is one of the greatest health challenges we collectively face. Therefore, as part of our renewed commitment at Pfizer to Friends of Cancer Patients and Emirates Oncology Society, we want to ensure that we are doing everything we can across the UAE to support cancer patients.”
“While we are proud of the significant progress, we have made in treating cancer, our work is far from over. With the incidence of cancer on the rise in the country, particularly among younger age groups, we must act now to ensure greater levels of awareness, encourage early detection, and ensure improved access to effective medicines. At Pfizer Gulf, we continue to focus on addressing critical gaps in care together with our industry partners, while advancing scientific research, so that we can deliver new generations of medicines, and bring hope to more cancer patients”, Lindsey Dietschi added.
HE Sawsan Jafar, Chairperson of Friends of Cancer Patients Board of Directors, said, “Within the UAE, each year we continue to lose patients to cancer, particularly colorectal and breast cancer. Thanks to advanced new treatments, patients have every fighting chance of survival if the cancer is detected early. That’s why it is paramount that residents across the UAE know the risk factors and have access to vital screenings, which FOCP has been advocating and providing. This year, with the support of Pfizer, we will be working to ensure that we continue to empower individuals with the necessary tools and information so that they can take every measure possible to protect themselves and their loved ones from cancer.”
Dr. Humaid Al Shamsi, President of the Emirates Oncology Society, added, “Across GCC countries, the rate of cancer is expected to grow twice as fast by 2025 compared to the rest of the world. In the face of the growing rates of the disease, we must do more to protect ourselves from it. Our first and most critical defence against cancer is early detection. This year we will be working closely with Pfizer to further raise crucial awareness and ensure that cancer screenings as well as prevention measures remain a top priority for patients and healthcare professionals, despite the ongoing demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
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