Towards a Brighter Tomorrow: Enhancing Cancer Care in Egypt

Series: Sciencious Medical Writing Conference


Egypt, with a population of 99,842,504 according to the latest official census in January 2020, is one of the largest in the Middle East and North Africa region, accounting for 1.29% of the global population. The country ranks 14th in terms of population, with rural areas comprising 57.2% and urban areas at 42.8%. The expansive population pyramid, with a youth bulge, contributes to various problems, including cancer-related issues. The public healthcare system in Egypt faces challenges such as overcrowding and long waiting times due to the large population and limited resources. Therefore, Egypt’s population is a significant risk factor for various cancer types. 

Cancer is one of the most common diseases that has plagued Egypt for a long time. For 2019, the total number of patients is 324,949 with different types of cancer: breast (61,160), liver (28,977), bladder (26,986), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (19,096), leukemia (14,274), brain and central nervous system (11,470), and prostate (10,523). All these types are spread across all ages. Egypt is a young nation with a growing oncology health sector; furthermore, Egypt faces numerous challenges in treating cancer, including the endemicity of HCV and schistosomiasis, which lead to high rates of hepatocellular carcinoma and bladder cancer. Other factors include tobaccouse, environmental pollutants, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and obesity. Environmental factors, such as textiles, mining, and manufacturing, expose individuals to carcinogens, increasing their risk of developing cancer. Genetic predisposition also plays a role, with inherited gene mutations increasing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Late-stage diagnosis, limited access to screening programs, and cultural barriers further contribute to delayed diagnosis. The healthcare systemfaces challenges in providing comprehensive cancer care, with limited resources andadvanced diagnostic technologies impacting treatment quality and accessibility. 


To address the issue of cancer, it is essential to focus on various solutions rather than just funding. One such solution is workforce development, which involves training and educating healthcare workers in oncology-specific areas. This can be achieved through targeted training programs, scholarships, and financial incentives. Infrastructure development, particularly in disadvantaged regions, can increase access to cancer care by building additional facilities with modern amenities. Enhancing medication access is crucial for providing affordable cancer drugs. Collaborations with foreign organizations can help in the construction and modernization of these facilities. Strengthening cancer registries and data management is vital for monitoring cancer control initiatives and making evidence-based decisions. Collaboration with international organizations can improve data collection, analysis, and reporting processes. Public education initiatives should be launched to inform the public about cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment choices. Collaboration with medical

professionals, media sources, and community organizations can help reach a larger audience. Health insurance coverage can also increase access to treatment for those who need it by extending coverage to comprehensive cancer care. The Egyptian government can foster collaboration with international institutions for workforce development in cancer care by establishing partnerships with renowned institutions, universities, and organizations specializing in cancer care and workforce development. Exchange programs, scholarships, research collaborations, training, workshops, technical assistance, and mentor ship can be organized to improve healthcare professionals’ skills. Funding and grants from international institutions can be explored for workforce development initiatives, such as scholarships, research projects, training programs, and infrastructure development. By actively engagingwith international institutions and creating a conducive environment for collaboration, the government can foster workforce development, knowledge exchange, and capacity building in cancer care. 

Ultimately, a strong cancer care infrastructure improves cancer outcomes, reduces death rates, enhances quality of life, raises public awareness, and has economic benefits. It enhances early detection and treatment access and reduces cancer-related fatalities. It also promotes research and innovation, enhancing Egypt’s healthcare image. 


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Zeinab Ebrahim

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