KABUL (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Tuesday announced the establishment of a national cancer treatment center, saying annually 23,000 Afghans contract cancer and 16,000 of them die from it.
Cancer is a disease in which some of the body’s cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body.
Doctor Sadiq Hashimi, a senior official at the cancer control center, told Pajhwok Afghan News, citing the World Health Organization (WHO)’s 2020 survey, that annually 23,000 people get affected with cancer in Afghanistan and 16,000 of them succumb to the disease.
He said currently three cancer treatment centers existed in Kabul, Herat and Balkh provinces.
The Kabul cancer treatment center has 60 beds, the Herat center has 15 beds and Balkh has 15 beds for cancer patients.
Dr. Hashimi said the MoPH planned to create a center for treatment and diagnosis of cancer in the country in near future with the assistance of International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA).
He said factors behind the increased cases of cancer included environmental, unhealthy diet, genetics and other climate and weather related factors.
Doctor Sharafat Zaman, MoPH spokesman, said 26,000 cancer patients visited the Jamhoriat Hospital for treatment in 2022.
The patients included about 1000 people who were newly diagnosed with cancer and 25,000 suffered from the disease for years.
The figures of Jamhoriat Hospital show cancer cases increased last year compared to the previous years.
Most of these cases were breast cancer among women while men had mostly throat cancer and the reasons were the use of chemicals, lengthy wars and the use of different weaponry in the country, Zaman said.
Zaman also MoPH has a plan to establish a center for treatment of cancer in order the Afghans are no longer forces to travel abroad for the treatment of such diseases.
Mohammad Jan, 60, a patient from Maidan Wardak province who is hospitalized for treatment, said: “I have been suffering from different diseases since last 16 years, I have diabetes and heart disease, but since four months, I am suffering from stomach cancer”.
He was satisfied with services of the hospital and said it was his second time to be hospitalized for vaccination.
Fatima, 70, another patient hospitalized for cancer disease, said she has been in the hospital since last one month.
She said she had visited different private hospitals for e treatment, but it had no good result.
She said: “I can’t eat anything, I am in trouble, I have no money, I sold all of my land to treat myself, I did not cure and even my problems increased”.
Fatima was also satisfied with services at the Jamhoriat hospital and said all services were free except some medicines which were not available in this hospital.