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Oncologist makes bold prediction

Oncologist makes bold prediction


Marijuana smokers are at a greater risk of developing cancer than other types of smokers.

Dr. Carl Niamatali, a Medical Oncologist who heads the Grenada Cancer Programme, made the startling revelation at a Cancer Lecture held here last Wednesday evening, February 27, 2008. He disclosed that this was the finding of recent research.{{more}}

According to Dr. Niamatali, the study revealed that marijuana smoking was much more carcinogenic than other forms of smoking because of the deep inhalation during the process.

Dr.Niamatali, who is Director of the Grenada Cancer Programme, gave the warning that women at risk for cervical cancer should not smoke.

Several persons flocked the Ministry of Health and the Environment Conference Room at the Ministerial Building in Kingstown to hear Dr. Niamatali’s lecture on ‘The Rising Tide of Cancer in Low Middle Income Countries: Challenges and Solutions for the Next Decade’. Interestingly, 90 per cent of the persons in attendance were women. The Annual General Meeting of the St.Vincent and the Grenadines Cancer Society was also held at this meeting.

Dr. Niamatali is predicting that from 2010, one million people in India who smoke Marijuana or Tobacco will die every year.

He further stated that of all the natural catastrophes that beset low middle income countries, such as St. Vincent and the Grenadines, cancer related diseases are predicted to be the syndrome likely to have the most devastating impact if people fail to change their lifestyles.

Nine million people living in countries with similar dynamics and economic conditions as St.Vincent and the Grenadines will die by 2015, Dr. Niamatali disclosed. This figure will increase to 11.4 million people by 2030, he added.

“Remember this. Cancer doesn’t care if you’re young or old, black or white, male or female…Cancer only knows how to be relentless, insidious and cruel,” Dr.Niamatali exclaimed.

On the issue of breast cancer, Dr.Niamatali stated that women who have a late first pregnancy, after the age of 30 years, have a risk for illness, as well as those who have late menopause, a dense breast, consume a lot of alcohol and work on late night shifts. He also used the opportunity to address the issue of cervical cancer and the Human Papilloma Virus.

He appealed to all Vincentians to make better choices so that they will be able to live healthier lives.

Offering a ray of hope with the message that early detection can lead to a cure, Dr.Niamatali said many cancers are curable and 80 per cent of the lumps that women discover in their breasts are benign (non cancerous). Dr.Namatali called on Vincatians to be more aware of cancer and cancer related disease.

“You can all make a difference,” he said.

He called for urgent action to be taken by the local health authorities to development a Cancer Programme, as well as the formation of a Pink Society and a Cancer Register to monitor the trend of cancers in St, Vincent.

The Executive of the Cancer Society was re-elected unopposed at the Annual General Meeting with Dr. Sherian Slater returning as the President.