KARACHI, Oct 14 (APP):First Lady Begum Samina Arif Alvi Thursday said that Pakistan had the highest cases of breast cancer among the Asian countries as around 100,000 women fell victim to this fatal disease every year in the country.
She said this in her address to the participants in a program on Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign at the Sindh Governor’s House here.
Samina Arif Alvi said “We have no authentic database about the breast cancer patients in the country because we lack a central database in this regard and, we are trying our level best to develop a central database for the purpose.”
She said that now there was a need to work more aggressively to spread the awareness about the disease among the ladies, especially those of far-flung and underprivileged areas of the country.
She stressed the need to motivate women for their self-examination once a month which could help diagnose breast cancer at an early stage.
Referring to her interaction with the women of Balochistan, she recalled that she found the women of the province very actively working to create awareness about the breast cancer.
She said that efforts that had been made during the last few years helped to break the stigma and now the women in Pakistan candidly discussed the breast cancer disease issues.
She said that many programs were organized in different parts of Pakistan during the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, which was launched around two years ago.
She also expressed gratitude to the members of her team, electronic and print media, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the government departments for their role in the breast cancer awareness campaign.
Addressing the occasion, the Wife of Sindh Governor, Reema Ismail said that the early diagnosis of breast cancer could help save the life of about 98 percent of the patients.
She said that breast cancer was the second leading cause of cancer death among the female population of Pakistan as 90000 new cases were diagnosed every year out of which 40000 died.
In his address, the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Pakistan, Dr. Palitha Mahipala said that proper and healthy diet, physical activities, and breastfeeding were among the factors which could contribute to help minimize the risk of breast cancer.
He also called for a need to impart training to midwives and nurses at the level of public health care centers to enable them play role in the treatment of breast cancer patients.
He said that breast cancer was more common in females between 40 to 50 years of age in Pakistan while the disease occurred in the age group between 50 to 60 years in the West.
This was the point where the creation of awareness at early ages was more important in Pakistan, he added.
Dr. Palitha Mahipala also appreciated the role of Begum Samina Arif Alvi in the creating awareness about breast cancer in Pakistan.
Technical Advisors for Disability and Rehabilitation of WHO in Pakistan, Dr. Maryam Mallick also spokes on the occasion.