US-Based Lebanese Doctor Discovers Groundbreaking Cancer Treatment

By Heba Tallah Mohamed

The number of people in the Middle East with cancer is expected to double by the year 2030. Dr Tarek Haykal, a Lebanese doctor based in the US, conducted a breakthrough study which revealed that a higher vitamin D intake can potentially help cancer patients live longer, according to Arab News.

Haykal, 27, is currently completing his residency in internal medicine at the Hurley Medical Center at Michigan State University in Flint. He and his team worked on a meta-analysis study that involved 79,000 cancer patients to prove that including more vitamin D in a patient’s diet can provide them with several benefits. The study showed that consistent supplements of vitamin D for at least three years can help the patients live longer.

The study was presented at the annual conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago. The research found that a high vitamin D diet can reduce cancer patient mortality by almost 13 percent. However, according to another article by Arab News, researchers showed that almost 81 percent of the Middle East’s population is suffering from a vitamin D deficiency. “Yes. We do need more awareness and we do encourage people to take vitamin D” Haykal said.

Vitamin D is currently a hot topic worldwide as it was shown that it can prevent several illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes mellitus. People globally are focusing on what foods they can add to their diets to enjoy the health benefits of vitamin D. However, Dr Haykal said that sadly the study did not show any proof that vitamin D can protect against getting cancer.

The problem is that there are no symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency to warn you. Dr Haykal suggests that people should get their vitamin D levels examined during medical checkups.

Vitamin D levels can be boosted using supplements or including specific foods in your diet such as oranges, mushrooms, smoked salmon, mackerel, cheese, and egg yolks. 

Although Dr Haykal went to the US after going to medical school in Lebanon, his passion to conduct this study was spurned by the increasing percentage of cancer patients in the Middle East.

Haykal said he has always been driven by a desire to help those in need. “After going to medical school, I was always interested only in the sickest patients of all,” he said. The study is expected to make a shift in the medical world with regards to treating cancer patients.

WE SAID THIS: A massive shoutout to all Arabs abroad making revolutionary breakthroughs in their field.