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Sep 2019

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Lebanon: GlobeMed lecture highlights the importance of lung cancer screening

Source: Middle East Insurance Review | May 2019

The Naef K Basile Cancer Institute (NKBCI) at the American University of Beirut (AUB), in collaboration with GlobeMed Lebanon, held a lecture on the importance of screening to detect lung cancer in its early stages. 
 
The lecture was attended by representatives of insurance companies and other risk carriers contracted with GlobeMed Lebanon, and the NKBCI leadership team at the AUB in addition to GlobeMed Lebanon team members of doctors and managers involved in the insured members’ health and wellness. 
 
GlobeMed Lebanon medical director Dr Bekhazi highlighted the importance of collaboration between risk carriers and healthcare providers to best serve the interest of patients.  
 
Dr Ali Taher, NKBCI director at the AUB, stressed the importance of raising awareness about the risks of smoking leading to the spread of lung cancer in Lebanon and of early lung cancer screening in saving lives. 
 
He also encouraged insurers to offer coverage for the screening tests as this will eventually lead to decreasing associated healthcare costs and the financial burden for both patients and risk carriers.
 
Professor of hematology and oncology Dr Arafat Tfayli highlighted the incidence of cancer worldwide with the Middle East registering higher figures compared to the global average, which constitutes a huge burden on the local communities. In Lebanon, the rate of cancer incidence, according to the national registry of cancer in the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health, increased from 191 cases per 100,000 people in 2003 to 270 cases per 100,000 people in 2015. Dr Tfayli emphasised the importance of early screening for lung cancer before the onset of symptoms, based on the recommendations of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
 
The director of health and wellness program at the family medicine department at the AUB Dr Maya Romani presented an overview about the smoking cessation programme offered by the University and its importance, considering that the number of smokers globally is expected to reach 1.3bn, with Lebanon ranking third in smokers’ per capita ratio. She also noted that the smoking-related diseases are leading to the loss of 4,100 lives in Lebanon.
 
Dr Rihab Nasr, director of the cancer control and prevention program at the NKBCI at the American University of Beirut Medical School, concluded the lecture with a presentation about the lung cancer screening programme at the American University Medical Center and the importance of taking the necessary steps and preventive measures to limit the increase in cancer incidence and working together to eradicate lung cancer.
 
Participants demonstrated great interest in the topics addressed in the presentations and concluded the lecture with a discussion on how to activate the means of prevention and cooperation between the various parties concerned. M 
 
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