The Naef Basile Cancer Institute at the American University of Beirut in collaboration with GlobeMed Lebanon held a lecture on the importance of early 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 Naef K. Basile Cancer Institute leadership team at the American University of Beirut in addition to GlobeMed Lebanon team members of doctors and managers involved in the insured members’ health and wellness.
The Director of the Naef Basile Cancer Institute at the American University of Beirut, Professor of Hematology and Oncology, Dr. Ali Taher opened the lecture by stressing 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 insurance companies to offer coverage to these screening tests as this will eventually lead to decreasing associated healthcare costs and the financial burden for both patients and risk carriers.
The Medical Director at GlobeMed Lebanon, Dr. Helen Bekhazi welcomed attendees and thanked them for their participation. She also thanked the Naef Basile Cancer Institute leadership for hosting the lecture; Dr. Bekhazi strongly believes in the importance of collaboration between risk carriers and healthcare providers to best serve the interest of patients.
The Professor of Hematology and Oncology, Dr. Arafat Tfayli opened the lecture with a presentation highlighting the incidence of cancer worldwide with the Middle East registering higher figures compared to the global average, which constitutes a huge burden on our 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 emphasized the importance of early screening for lung cancer before the onset of symptoms, based on the recommendations of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He also highlighted the increasing incidence of lung cancer in Lebanon as a result of the widespread smoking addiction in various forms.
The Director of Health and Wellness Program at the Family Medicine Department at the American University of Beirut, Dr. Maya Romani presented an overview about the smoking cessation program offered by the American University of Beirut and its importance in concordance with the increase of the number of smokers globally to reach 1.3 billion with Lebanon ranking 3rd in smokers’ per capita ratio. She mentioned that the smoking-related diseases are leading to the loss of 4,100 persons in Lebanon.
The Director of the Cancer Control and Prevention Program at the Naef K. Basile Cancer Institute at American University of Beirut Medical School, Dr. Rihab Nasr concluded the lecture with a presentation about the Lung Cancer screening program at the American University Medical Center and the importance of taking necessary steps and preventive measures to limit the increase in cancer incidence and work together to eradicate lung cancer.
Participants demonstrated great interest in the topics addressed in the presentations and concluded the lecture with a discussion on methods to activate the means of prevention and cooperation between the various parties concerned.