Egyptians run to mark World Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Day

Ingy Deif, Monday 25 Sep 2023

In a bid to inspire hope among blood cancer patients and promote a healthier lifestyle, a group of Egyptians organized a run to mark World Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) Day, which falls on 22 September.

Egypt celebrating World CML day2023 with a Run


The event was organized by Egypt’s premier running community Cairo Runners, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Novartis, a private-sector pharmaceutical company.

The run kicked off and ended at the National Cancer Institute Hospital in Giza's Sheikh Zayed (500500 Hospital) with around 500 people participating.

The initiative was meant to engage the public’s attention and support patients and their caregivers. The day was also an opportunity to boost awareness of the disease and highlight advances achieved in the treatment of blood cancers and serious blood disorders. 

Doctors attending the event highlighted the innovative treatments for CML patients that rendered the disease a chronic, rather than a life-threatening, condition.

According to the World Health Organization, CML is estimated to have affected 1.5 million people worldwide, making up about 15 percent of all leukemia cases.

The symptoms of CML are vague and can include fatigue, loss of weight, pain in the bones, feeling full after eating very small portions of food, and an enlarged spleen.

CML begins in myeloid cells, which are cells within bone marrow that make red blood cells, platelets, and most white blood cells.

The problem starts when a genetic change occurs in an early version of these cells, forming abnormalities.

The abnormal leukemia cells then grow and spread to other parts of the body, such as the spleen.

CML is rarely seen in children, and although it is typically a slow-growing leukemia, it can sometimes change into a fast-growing leukemia that is very hard to treat.

On the occasion, Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Moaty, a professor of oncology and hematology and dean of the NCI at Cairo University, spoke to Ahram Online about the institute’s role in conducting scientific research across various oncology disciplines as well as offering services through multiple university hospitals dedicated to diagnosing and treating cancer patients from all over the country.

“Cairo University's National Cancer Institute, which was constructed in the 1960s stands as the largest specialized oncology centre in the Middle East and Africa,” he noted.

“The institute performs 10,000 surgeries and endoscopies, administers 98,000 chemotherapy sessions, and conducts 17,000 radiation therapy sessions while providing care for 7,200 patients in the internal department each year. 

"In addition, the institute offers early cancer detection clinics, nutritional therapy, and psychological support for cancer patients,” Abdel-Moaty added.

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