Biggest Oncology Center to Open in Northern Province

Biggest Oncology Center to Open in Northern ProvinceBiggest Oncology Center to Open in Northern Province

The opening ceremony of the largest oncology center in the country in Sari, capital of the northern Mazandaran Province, will be held next month, said Mohammad Soltan Tobeh, head of the public relations office of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences.

Originally scheduled for February 9, the inaugural ceremony was postponed due to unknown reasons.

“The center with 320 beds will be inaugurated before the current Iranian year is out (March 19),” IRNA quoted him as saying.

The four-storey center has been established close to Imam Khomeini Hospital in Sari in an area of 5,500 square meters.

More than $4.6 million was spent on constructing and equipping the hospital which has separate wards for tumor surgery, bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as a research wing. The center has adequate capacity to also meet the needs of patients from other provinces, he said.

Lung cancer is a deadly disease in the province and has affected 20% of the people under the age of 45 years.

 Rasht Hospital Under Construction

Gastric or stomach cancer rate is also high in the northern regions. Consumption patterns that include too much of roasted food, excessive consumption of pickled foods, eating fruits and vegetables with high amount of pesticide residue due to excessive use of chemical pesticides, obesity and low physical activity are the main reasons for the deadly disease.

A bigger oncology 400-bed hospital and research center (46,000 square meters) is also being constructed in Rasht, Gilan Province with the support of the Gilan University of Medical Sciences and the internationally acclaimed neurologist, Professor Majid Samii.

Born in Rasht, Prof Samii, 78, received his MD in neurosurgery at the age of 33. He is the president of the International Society for Neurosurgery and was elected as the founding president of the Congress of International Neurosurgeons in 2003.

According to Health Minister Hassan Hashemi the hospital will open in early 2017.

 Common Cancers

Gastric cancer is the most common type in Iran and its prevalence is higher in the northern and northwestern regions. The highest incidence rate is in Ardebil Province and Kerman, a southern province, has the lowest rate. Non-genetic risk factors for gastric cancer include smoking, high sodium consumption and diets low in antioxidants.

Esophageal cancer is the second most common in the country and more prevalent in northern and northeastern regions including Golestan, Mazandaran and North Khorasan provinces. Men are more likely than women to get this type of cancer.

Cancer is the second major cause of death in Iran (after road accidents) and takes about 35,000 lives in the country each year, with the total number of cancer patients including new cases and those under care, now touching 500,000.

According to the Iranian Society of Clinical Oncology (ISCO), it is estimated that more than 90,000 new cancer cases occur annually in Iran, and the figure is expected to double by the year 2020. In the absence of a nationwide population-based cancer registry, the burden of cancer can only be estimated by extrapolating from regional surveys, the ISCO says.

 Incidence Rate

Overall, the age-standardized incidence rates (which takes into account how many old or young people in the population are being looked at) per 100,000 population is 110.43 in males and 98.23 in females.

Skin, prostate and stomach cancer are more prevalent among men while breast cancer afflicts more women in Iran. Prostate cancer is second leading cause of cancer death among Iranian men and more prevalent in Isfahan and most cases of the cancer are diagnosed in men over age 50.

Leukemia ranks first among cancers affecting children. The leading causes of the disease can be attributed to lead in petroleum, particulate matters, air pollution and cell phone radiation.

Among women in Tehran, breast cancer is the most common type and the third common cancer across the country. Breast cancer occurs a decade earlier among Iranian women than women in western countries.

Tehran, Isfahan, Gilan, Fars and Khorasan provinces have the highest incidence of breast cancer, respectively.  In America, breast cancer is the second most prevalent type after skin cancer.

Based on global figures, the number of people suffering from cancer worldwide will stand at around 20 million people by 2020.