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October 31, 2019

Let’s make breast cancer a disease of the past, says first lady


October 31, 2019

Islamabad:Pakistani women play a key role in the development of the country; as such, they need to be cautious about any initial abnormality and complication that has the potential to incapacitate and restrict their contribution. Women above 40 years of age must have a mammography once a year to make breast cancer a disease of the past.

First Lady Samina Arif Alvi disseminated this message while addressing participants of an awareness seminar on breast cancer here at Shifa International Hospital (SIH) on Wednesday. She advised all stakeholders to be part of this national cause and recommended regular examination for breast cancer patients.

As per the special directive of President Arif Alvi, the government is closely pursuing the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign to maximize the possibilities of breast cancer’s early detection, as there are more than 80 percent chances of complete survival if diagnosed at an early stage,” Samina said. She urged the private healthcare sector to share their expertise with the government to give Pakistani women easy access to breast screening.

Appreciating Shifa’s collaborative initiative with the Ministry of Health, Samina said awareness seminars should regularly be convened to educate women regarding breast cancer as they don’t feel comfortable talking about such diseases. I want to advise women to put their shame aside and to pay utmost attention to their health, she said.

Dr. Ayesha Isani, Focal Person of the National Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign at the Ministry of Health, enumerated breast cancer’s risk factors as genetic, obesity, lack of physical exercise, radiation, etc. She added that the Ministry is advocating training of the Lady Health Workers to create awareness of self-examination among women.

Dr. M. Furrukh, Consultant Radiation Oncologist, said Pakistan has the largest rate of breast cancer in Asia. It is the second leading cause of death among women. An estimated 90,000 cases are being annually reported in the country, and over 40,000 deaths are caused by it. One in every nine Pakistani women develops breast cancer at some stage of her life.

SIH, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, is also steering a Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign in the various universities of the twin. Campaigns were carried out in Bahria University, Fatima Jinnah Women University, COMSATS University, and FAST. Shifa distributed hundreds of leaflets among university students. Shifa is also offering free screening and a 50 percent discounted breast mammography.

The event was also attended by Shifa’s Chairman Board of Directors Dr. Habib-Ur-Rahman, Dr. Manzoor H. Qazi (CEO), Taimoor Shah (COO), faculty members, staff, and the general public.

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