|ISLAMABAD, Feb. 6, 2018 -- Rahat Malik, a resident of Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi, said his world turned upside down when doctors told him that his father is suffering from cancer and he will not be able to live more than six weeks.
"He was a super fit and healthy man, had no disease, he used to walk for eight km everyday to keep himself fit. He visited hospital for routine checkup and doctors found a small tumor in his liver which later turned out to be final stage cancer after further investigations," Malik, who lost his father to cancer in December last year, told Xinhua.
Besides Malik's father, about 148,000 people are diagnosed as new cases of cancer every year in the country and almost 100,000 people lose their battle against the disease annually.
Currently, there are 3 million cancer patients in Pakistan, according to the country's national institute of health.
Talking to Xinhua, Ayub Rose, director general of health services of Pakistan's northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, said that the number of annual new cases of cancer is higher than other countries in Asia-Pacific region.
"It's a pity that in developed nations the number of cancer patients is decreasing because of the lifestyle changes whereas in developing countries like Pakistan it is rapidly increasing," Rose said.
Muhammad Farrukh, an oncologist with Islamabad's Shifa International hospital, said that cancer is the second commonest cause of deaths after cardiovascular diseases and is followed by road traffic accidents, respiratory ailments, and perinatal conditions.
He said that in Pakistan, unawareness about the disease, poor lifestyle and pollution are the major causes of the rapid spread of the disease.
Farrukh said that timely screening, active and healthy lifestyle and avoiding risk factors can protect people from all types of cancer.
Oncologists say that the most common cancers in males in Pakistan are in head and neck whereas breast cancer is the leading cancer among the Pakistani women.