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October 29, 2020

Mass awareness stressed to combat breast cancer challenge

Peshawar

October 29, 2020

PESHAWAR: Speakers at a seminar here on Wednesday termed the growing number of breast cancer patients a major challenge that could be met through joint efforts, especially mass awareness.

The seminar “Breast Cancer Awareness” was organised by the Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) at the KMU. Prof Dr Muhammad Saleem Gandapur, Registrar, Khyber Medical University (KMU), Peshawar, Prof Dr Abid Jamil, Head, Department of Oncology, Hayatabad Medical Complex, Dr Saima Abid, President, Public Health Association, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dr Amjad Ali and Asiya Bukhari, Director, QEC- KMU, also addressed on the occasion. Dr Saleem Gandapur termed the holding of the seminar as a need of the hour and said the rising rate of malignant diseases like cancer is a major challenge for the entire society as well as medical research institutes and medical professionals.

He said that early diagnosis of cancer could not only save the lives of cancer patients but also reduce the huge cost involved. Dr Saleem Gandapur said this disease could be combated by creating awareness among the people on a large scale. Earlier, speakers elaborated on the statistics, causes, prevention and treatment of breast cancer, saying that 9.8 million women in Pakistan were affected by breast cancer, which leads to high-risk countries.

Timely diagnosis of breast cancer can reduce the number of deaths per year by 90 per cent. They said the rising rate of breast cancer in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa could be estimated from the number i.e 15,000 of patients suffering from breast cancer every year.

The speakers said cancer usually affects the breast, bones, lungs, liver and stomach, with the highest rate being noted in the breast. They said according to modern research and international standards, cancer could be diagnosed easily through CT scan instead of ultrasound and X-ray. The speakers said timely diagnosis of various stages of cancer could not only make the treatment effective but also prevent the loss of precious human lives. They said the cancer was no longer incurable but due to the high cost of treatment, in a poor and less developed country like Pakistan, treatment was often beyond the reach of patients.

The speakers said that 32 per cent of the 200,000 cases of cancer that occurred in Pakistan every year were from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the treatment of which cost from Rs. 50,000 to Rs 5 million. They said 100,000 people died every year due to this disease which was a major challenge for the survival of humanity. The speakers said a study conducted on cancer patients at the HMC had revealed that the average income of most cancer patients is only Rs.22,000 per month. They said an eight-year project at a cost of Rs. 8 billion for the treatment of poor and needy cancer patients under a public-private partnership in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies had been launched in the HMC.

Up to 6358 patients have been registered so far out of which 2000 patients have been treated during the year 2019.