Figures by the Ministry of Public Health show that almost 40,000 people have been diagnosed with different types of cancer diseases, citing lack of awareness for an increase in the number of patients countrywide.
The figures show that more than 3,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, of which, 1,700 patients have died due to the disease.
Another reason for an increase in the number of cancer patients is lack of adequate access to healthcare services and the absence of a proper cancer treatment center, assessments of the Ministry of Public Health indicated.
The only cancer treatment center in the Jumhoriat Hospital in Kabul has 65 beds which according to officials cannot meet the increasing number of cancer patients.
The center was established four years ago.
“Women should be aware of the disease. They should do this once in a month,” said Abdul Mannan Dawari, a physician at Jumhoriat Hospital.
In an effort to reduce the number of cancer patients, the Ministry of Public Health hosted an awareness program on Sunday where doctors from 34 provinces attended to get information on breast cancer.
“The Ministry of Public Health deems it its responsibility to take measures for treatment and prevention of common diseases, especially cancer,” said Mohibullah Zirai, head of the curative medicine in the Ministry of Public Health.
Patients under treatment at Jumhoriat Hospital said the center addresses the needs of patients who want to travel abroad for treatment.
“I did one surgical operation in Pakistan and another here,” said Bibi Mayan, a cancer patient.
“I am under treatment here at Jumhoriat Hospital. It helped me not to go to Pakistan [for treatment],” said Shila, a cancer patient.