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    Lifestyle changes can help reduce bladder cancer risk

    Muscat: The incidence of bladder cancer is quite high in Oman and outside, and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. But with appropriate preventive measures, including quitting smoking and other tobacco products, the risk of bladder cancer could be minimised significantly, according to a noted Oncologist in Oman.

    Dr Munjid Al Harthi, Consultant in Urological Oncology said: “Bladder cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers worldwide, and can be associated with significant morbidity and mortality.

    In Oman, bladder cancer accounts for the second highest number of cases of urogenital cancers amongst males. There are also unique differences between bladder cancers diagnosed in Oman and those diagnosed in Western countries due to different exposure to risk factors associated with bladder cancer in the Middle East and North Africa.”

    “There are steps that people can take to minimise the risk of getting bladder cancer. These include shunning smoking or other tobacco products, taking protective measures to minimise their exposure to harmful chemicals that may be related to their jobs such as paints and dyes, talking with their family members about their medical history to determine if they may have an increased familial risk of bladder cancer and talking to their doctor if they notice any symptoms related to bladder health such as blood in the urine or burning and pain on urination that persists over time,” Dr Al Harthi added.

    He explained, “Bladder cancer typically begins in the innermost layer of the bladder wall and if it goes unchecked, it may progress to involve the deeper layers and even spread to other parts of the body. The good news is, if it is diagnosed early, bladder cancer is associated with much better outcomes and can be cured.”

    Al Harthi clarified: “In its early stages, bladder cancer is typically treated with a combination of removal of the bladder tumor using minimally invasive procedures, and may also involve chemotherapy or immunotherapy treatments. In its later stages, treatment of bladder cancer may involve a combination of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, surgery and radiation treatment.  To ensure that they are getting the best diagnosis and treatment, they must make sure they receive care at a center that specialises in a multi-disciplinary approach to managing cancer.”

    “At SQCCCRC, the GU oncology programme prioritises timely and efficient diagnosis and treatment that is individualised to the patient’s requirement. Although this can be a challenging diagnosis, with the right team, good health outcomes and cures are possible. We encourage you to talk to your doctor and family members about bladder cancer in order to decrease the burden of this disease on your loved ones and promote a healthier and happier life for all,” Dr Munjid Al Harthi concluded.



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