Internationally renowned colorectal cancer experts gathered recently in Doha for the 5th Qatar Colorectal Conference, hosted by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC). The conference, attended by over 300 local and international delegates, presented the latest findings in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of the disease.

Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari attended the event’s opening ceremony along with Dr Abdulla Al Ansari, HMC’s Acting Chief Medical Officer. Dr Al Ansari thanked Dr Al Kuwari for attending the conference and commended the work of the organising committee.

This annual conference allows our colorectal healthcare specialists to collaborate with international experts from a number of countries, including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom to discuss practical ways in which we can enhance the quality of our healthcare services to best benefit our patients.’

5th Qatar Colorectal Conference

The three-day conference also helped raise awareness about colorectal cancer (sometimes a non-symptomatic disease), and the availability of screening services in Qatar. The National Breast and Bowel Cancer Screening Program, Screen for Life, was established by the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) as part of the National Health Strategy. The programme is the first of its kind in the region and aims to raise awareness of breast and bowel cancer and to reinforce the importance of early and regular screening.

According to Dr Mohamed Abunada, Lead Colorectal Surgeon at HMC and chairman of the conference, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in Qatar and a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women in the country. The disease can be caused by a number of factors including environmental conditions, family history, consumption of high protein and fat-rich foods, alcohol, and smoking.

Colorectal cancer doesn’t have early warning signs, according to Dr Salwa Sayed Ahmad, General and Colorectal Surgeon at HMC, so it’s important for patients to undergo regular screenings at their designated Primary Health Care Center.

As the disease progresses, people may experience blood in their stool, pain in their belly, constipation or diarrhoea, unexplained weight loss, or fatigue. Unfortunately, by the time these symptoms appear, the disease is more difficult to treat.’

The 5th Qatar Colorectal Conference featured keynote addresses from UK-based Professors Amjad Parvaiz and Tahseen Qureshi, Dr Rodrigo Perez from Brazil, Professor Ayman Agha from Germany, Andre D’Hoore from Belgium, Dr Runjan Chetty from Canada and Professor Frederic Ris from Switzerland.

For more details about HMC’s bowel and breast cancer awareness campaign, visit their website at hamad.qa.