(MENAFN- The Peninsula) fazeena saleem |
Doha, Qatar: Plans are underway to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) and teleradiology into Screen for Life – a national cancer screening programme, said the Director of Early Detection Programs at Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), Dr. Sheikha Abu Sheikha speaking to The Peninsula recently.
“The breast and bowel cancer screening (Screen for Life) started in 2016. The programme has developed and progressed since then. At present we are focusing on reinforcing the breast and bowel cancer screening programme through adding teleradiology where we can use the expertise of radiologists even outside the country to read the images,” Dr. Sheikha said.
“We are also adding artificial intelligence to prioritise the images of breast and bowel cancer screening participants; it will help us to know the suspected images to be read first. At the same time, we are focusing on training our manpower to implement the best practices according to our guidelines,” she added.
Dr. Sheikha also said that building on the success of existing early cancer screening in the country -measures are being taken to include more types of cancers into the Screen for Life – National cancer screening programme.
Breast cancer screening encourages women between the ages of 45-69 to participate in routine screening at one of the health centres, and bowel cancer screening encourages men and women aged 50 to 74 years of age for Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) once a year.
“Screen for Life has developed a good reputation among the public. We have screened about 50% of the eligible population. It's promising to see that people are aware of the benefits, accepting and coming to do the screening,” said Dr. Sheikha.
“We are doing feasibility studies to include other types of cancers such as lung cancer, cervical cancer, and thyroid cancers to the screening programme,” she said.
According to the National Cancer Registry, the most common cancer among all nationalities was breast cancer, accounting for 16.58 % of all cancer cases, followed by colorectal cancer at 9.44 %. Thyroid cancer was the third most common cancer, at 6.33 % of all cancer cases.
Among females of all nationalities, breast cancer was the most common, accounting for 39.15 %of all female cancer cases, followed by thyroid cancer. While in males, colorectal cancer was the most common, accounting for 10.93 % of all male cancer cases, followed by prostate cancer, at 9.52 %.