According to the 2014 Qatar Population Health Report, cancer was the second leading cause of death between 2004 and 2010. The majority of Qatar’s residents will have been affected by cancer, either directly or indirectly.

The most recent statistics from the Qatar National Cancer Registry state that in 2014:

  • There were 1,412 newly diagnosed cases of malignant cancer (44% females, 56% males)
  • There was an overall crude rate of 66.02 per 100,000
  • There was an age-standardized rate (ASR) of 224 per 100,000

Health implications

Cancer risk can be reduced by following healthy lifestyle habits that include not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, limiting UV ray exposure from the sun, consuming a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

Qatar has a relatively young population and statistics show that the burden of cancer affects mainly the older generation. According to 2014 statistics from the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics, 49% of the population is under the age of 18. However, when age adjustment techniques are applied to the cancer incidence data, we see an increase in the incidence of cancer with age. After age adjustment, we can clearly see that cancer deaths in Qatar mainly affect older residents.

Cancer Objectives

The strategy recognizes the need to educate people more effectively about the facts on cancer. Previous research has identified that there are many myths and misconceptions about cancer that can adversely affect people’s treatment and care. A high priority of the cancer objectives is the need to reinforce the message that early detection can save lives. With this in mind, the establishment of Primary Health Care Corporation-led screening programs is helping facilitate early detection.

Figure 17: Age-specific death rate of cancer in Qatar, 2014.
(Source: Qatar National Cancer Registry 2014)

(Source: Qatar National Cancer Registry 2014)

Cancer Objectives

  1. C1 Implement national cancer myth refutation campaigns
  2. C2 Implement cancer prevention educational sessions targeting academic institutions
  3. C3 Implement integrated national cancer awareness activities across key stakeholders
  4. C4 Establish and integrate a national cancer observatory with the Public Health Observatory, to enable the aggregation of indicators, reports and information, to improve planning and evaluation processes
  5. C5 Continue to offer and develop integrated cancer screening programs