Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, an integral part of Mubadala Health, has been designated as the official pilot lung cancer screening center for the emirate of Abu Dhabi by the Department of Health.
“This designation ensures that Abu Dhabi will have access to the latest lung cancer screening technology, helping to reduce the toll that the disease takes on our community.”
“Screening is at the heart of achieving the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda, which emphasizes the importance of preventive medicine and seeks to reduce cancer and lifestyle related diseases. Controlling Diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular ensures a longer, healthy life for citizens, which places great emphasis on preventative care and continuing our success in combatting cancer,” says H.E. Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of Department of Health – Abu Dhabi.
Healthcare providers at the hospital have welcomed the move, as effective screening will lead to much earlier diagnosis in high risk patients. Lung cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in Abu Dhabi.
“Receiving this designation from the Department of Health means that even more patients will have access to our advanced lung cancer screening program. Building on the success of our colleagues at Cleveland Clinic in the United States, this program will improve outcomes for high risk patients, something that will save lives,” says Dr. Ali Wahla, Medical Director of the Lung Cancer Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s lung cancer screening program is designed to find the disease in patients before they experience symptoms, when it is easier to treat. Bringing together a multidisciplinary team of specialists, the screening process involves a low dose computed tomography scan that creates a detailed cross section of a patient’s lungs. If detected, the hospital’s lung cancer program offers a range of treatments including lung resection – widely considered the key treatment for lung cancer – as part of its multidisciplinary lung cancer program.
“Our lung cancer program is unique in the Middle East. Patients can be diagnosed and undergo minimally invasive hybrid lung surgery in a single procedure. This approach offers new hope of reducing the toll of this disease,” says Dr. Redha Souilamas, Surgical Director of the Lung Cancer Program and Chair of Thoracic Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
The Department of Health designation means patients from across Abu Dhabi deemed to be at high risk of lung cancer will have easier access to the hospital’s advanced lung cancer screening services through referrals from primary care physicians and family doctors.
Patients between the ages of 55 and 75 and who have a history of heavy smoking are prime candidates for screening. (Doctors define ‘heavy smoking’ in this context as having smoked a pack of cigarettes per day or more for 30 years, or any alternative such as shisha and medwakh for more than 20.)
Studies show that lung cancer screening in such cases reduces the risk of dying from the disease. In Abu Dhabi, cancer remains the third leading cause of death and the main reason residents travel abroad for treatment.
In 2019, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi announced the construction of a dedicated oncology center, modelled on Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Center in the USA. Set to open to patients in 2022, the center will provide a full range of advanced treatments in a central location and house support services designed to make patients as comfortable as possible as they receive their care.
To find out more about the cancer services available at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi or the hospital’s smoking cessation program, download the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Health Portal app, visit the App Store or Google Play Store, call 800 222 33, or visit ClevelandClinicAbuDhabi.ae.