The most common cancers in Iraq are lung and breast cancers
As oil fires burn in the distance, a man covers his face near the entrance to the besieged city of Basra on March 29, 2003, in Iraq.
photo: Getty Images/ Spencer Platt
Most Iraqis suffer from lung, breast, and bronchial cancers.
According to the Iraqi Ministry of Health's latest figure on cancer in the country, air-related cancer tops the list of most common cancer in the country, including the rare bronchial cancers that attack lung airways.
Khazair Ruaq, Chair of the Iraqi Ministry of Health Cancer Council, said that according to the latest statistics of cancer cases recorded in 2020, "31,000 people have been diagnosed with the disease, with breast cancer being the most common among women and lung cancer among men.
He noted that the 2021 cancer report is ready, and the number of cancer patients is expected to reach about 37,000.
Rauq explained that the Ministry of Health is doing its best to provide cancer patients with free medication to treat them, especially some immune system drugs that are scarce in hospitals.
The number of cancer patients is alarming in Iraq and the Kurdistan region. In Sulaimani, almost 500 people are diagnosed with cancer daily; according to the Sulaimani health department spokesperson, the city has just over a million people.
Low air quality is one of the country's main challenges as it lacks enough vegetation and water to have natural clean air.