QCS helps raise awareness on colorectal cancer
December 03 2015 09:49 PM
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Cartoon characters entertain children in front of a large-scale model of the human colon set up at Katara esplanade. PICTURE: Najeer Feroke.

By Joey Aguilar
Staff Reporter

Qatar Cancer Society (QCS) on Thursday opened the "be a man" village at Katara - the Cultural Village to raise public awareness on various types of cancer, particularly colorectal cancer.

The village features a large-scale model of the human colon in Qatar where visitors are briefed on how the cancer develops and progresses inside the body.

"Many people have that fear of talking about cancer and so we want to eliminate that stigma," QCS health educator Bilal Nasr told Gulf Times.

"We want residents in Qatar to talk about it because it is not the end of the world when one has cancer."

While colorectal cancer is among the top five cancers in Qatar, the disease can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle such as eating a balanced diet, doing proper exercise, and undergoing regular check-ups or screening, Nasr said.

He noted that people must also know the risk factors leading to cancer such as smoking, drinking alcohol, eating processed meat, and obesity.

QCS also identifies other risk factors such as radiation, sun and ultraviolet exposure, genetics and family history, immunosuppressive medicines, and infections, among others.

QCS held a similar activity at Aspire Zone which attracted a large number of visitors who participated in some of the awareness activities and games.

"We explain to them why it is important for older people, especially aged 50 and above, to undergo regular screenings and check-ups," Nasr said.

"Preventing cancer costs less and better than going for the cure."

The launching, he added, also forms part of raising awareness on men's health in November by keeping their moustache and beard.

Besides providing basic information about colorectal cancer, brochures distributed by QCS suggest healthy recipes, the types of food to eat, and servings to boost the immune system and prevent cancer.

The "be a man" village set up at the Katara esplanade held a number of activities, children's games and shows to highlight the importance of making healthy choices to prevent various types of cancers.

Aside from colon, the common types of cancer in Qatar include breast, bone marrow, skin, prostate, and thyroid.

QCS has suggested the need for vaccinations, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding exposure to high levels of UV rays.

Nasr urged Qatar residents to visit their social media pages on Facebook (qatarcancersociety), Twitter (@qcs_qatar) and Instagram (@qcs_qatar) for QCS updates and announcements.

Qatar health officals have been using social media to raise awareness and urged people in the country to talk about the disease as part of their effort to eliminate social stigma.

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