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October 30, 2016

Cancer is curable: foreign secretary


October 30, 2016

Awareness campaign launched at Nori Hospital

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, who recovered from cancer fully a few months ago, has said that cancer patients should be optimistic while being treated because it is a curable disease if diagnosed and treated timely. 

He was sharing his personal experience in the public awareness seminar on breast cancer at Nuclear Medicine Oncology & Radiotherapy Institute (Nori) hospital here on Saturday. He stressed the importance of early detection of breast cancer. He reiterated that patients should pass on the information and everybody should play a role in creating awareness about this menace. Keeping up the tradition Atomic Energy Cancer Hospital Nori dedicated entire month of October for cancer awareness campaign by organising seminars, symposia and various other awareness programmes. Free consultation and screening services including mammography and ultrasonography were provided free of cost throughout the month. A grand seminar was held earlier with the motive to raise awareness and alertness for the disease and to persuade masses for early diagnosis of breast cancer. The guests were decorated with pink ribbon badges at the reception desk. The event was attended number of the guests hailing from different walks of life including dignitaries, doctors from different specialties, teachers, students, nurses and paramedical staff and patients and their relatives. Chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, Muhammad Naeem was the chief guest. Secretary foreign affairs Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry along with Member Science S.M Javed Akhtar, Member Power Syed Yusuf Raza, Member Fuel Cycle Tariq Mehmood, Member System Dr Raja Ali Raza Anwar, Member Finance Najeebullah Khan, MD Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal Barrister Abid Waheed Sheikh, Chairman Pakistan Green Task Force Dr Jamal Nasir, Chairman Pakistan Sweet and Great Homes Zamurrad Khan and Director Medical Sciences PAEC Dr Fayyaz Ahmad were among the guests. Speaking on the occasion, Chairman PAEC said that more than 80% of cancer patients of Pakistan are being treated at 18 Atomic Energy Cancer Hospitals situated all over the country and more hospitals will be established in coming years, to lessen the miseries of cancer patients. He said that although trauma of cancer is devastating for the patients and entire family but if diagnosed and treated in early stage it is a curable disease. 

He congratulated Director AECH Nori and organisers of the event for putting up such an informative and successful programme for the awareness of general public and such activities should continue throughout the year. He appreciated the role of media in giving awareness to general public. Earlier Dr. Humera Mahmood, Head Oncology delivered a lecture titled “Why to take chance when you can do something about it, Breast cancer is a treatable disease”. She said that breast cancer has got highest incidence at AECH Nori and constitutes about 33% of all female cancers and 17% overall. Despite being so common, most of the patients come to the hospital at an advanced stage due to lack of awareness, financial constraints, social and cultural taboos. Dr. Humera stressed the need of monthly breast self-examination and encouraged the patients to do breast feeding, regular exercise, modify dietary habits and quit smoking as to reduce the risk of breast cancer. 

In his welcome address Director AECH Nori Dr. Mohammad Faheem highlighted the services provided at the hospital. He told the gathering that Nori is equipped with vast array of sophisticated and state-of-the-art medical and laboratory equipment. The services provided by the hospital can be matched with any well reputed international standard organisation. Presenting the cancer statistics according to Nori cancer registry he said that the number of new cancer patients registered has grown from 1,777 in 1998 to 4,363 in 2015. This is not only because of rise in cancer incidence but also due to improvement in cancer awareness. The follow up cases has grown from 353,954 in 2010 to 41,379 in 2015, speaking of continuously improving response to treatment at Nori. 

Dr Mohammad Faheem while delivering cancer alertness lecture told about various awareness programmes being conducted at Nori. Cancer survivors shared their experience and encouraged women saying that cancer is not a death sentence rather it’s a life sentence. They briefed their journey from diagnosis to cure and how it changed their lives. One of the survivors said that the facilities at Atomic Energy cancer Hospital especially Nori is no less than any of the International hospitals. 

The seminar was also addressed by Barrister Abid Waheed Sheikh, Dr Jamal Nasir and Zamurrad Khan. They appreciated the role of Nori hospital Islamabad working under the ages of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. The event was concluded by awareness walk against breast cancer.

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