Pakistan, like other developing countries is experiencing a rise in the incidence of cancer, late presentations and > 50% mortality rate. Within this context, the Society for Medical Oncology Pakistan (SMOP) will provide a platform for oncology professionals to develop multidisciplinary approaches towards the treatment of cancer patients. At the same time, we would like to encourage indigenous research in providing contextually adapted solutions.
Since more than 30% of all cancers are related to infections, smoking, obesity and major environmental hazards such as air and water pollution in developing countries, SMOP aims to raise awareness in the public on the importance of early screening and preventative approaches. As oncology professionals, we must educate the public to minimise the risk of cancer and encourage them to have cancers screened earlier so the disease can be treated more effectively.
One of our core objectives is to encourage peer learning between medical oncology professionals. Professionals are increasingly specialised, new developments and cross disciplinary approaches to cancer management provide new approaches to cancer care. Peer learning provides oncologists of all level’s opportunities for professional development and the chance to update our thinking.
Finally, the importance of research in cancer care cannot be understated. Unique environments bring unique challenges, and Pakistan is lagging behind other developing countries in indigenous research.
SMOP intends to provide a strong platform for advocacy, awareness and learning. We want to create an environment in which cancer providers are empowered and encouraged to adopt patient-centric approaches based on contextual research and best practice. We will also advocate that the Government takes necessary action and devise policies for the presentation and treatment of non-communicable diseases, especially cancers, at the grassroot level.
SMOP is starting on a long journey to change medical oncology in Pakistan. We look forward to you joining us on this journey.
President, Society of Medical Oncology Pakistan