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LAHORE: Out of all the cancers, breast cancer can be treated and cured if detected early, hence, increasing the survival rate to more than 90%. Therefore, raising awareness about breast cancer is the need of the hour, to protect Pakistani women from cancer by implementing preventive measures and changing lifestyle.

These views were expressed by Prof. of Surgery, Dr. Ayesha Shaukat, who have specialization in cancer surgery, while delivering lectures to the medical students of Post Graduate Medical Institute/AMC, here today.

Prof. Ayesha Shaukat maintained that today's modern medical science has made breast cancer a treatable disease, but due to the high cost of this treatment, it is unaffordable for poor and middle class women. “If there is a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease, the patient's life may be in danger, she said, adding: “The rate of breast cancer in women who breastfeed her child is lower than the other women.”

Prof. Ayesha Shaukat said that apart from married women, many unmarried girls are also suffering from this disease and they do not even mention to their parents about pain or any other change in breast due to traditional shame and modesty. Due to delay in cancer treatment, the patient has to go under severe medical treatment including chemotherapy and radiation, she said.

A spokeswoman of Pink Ribbon said, “Over 10 million women in Pakistan are at risk of breast cancer which positions the country with the highest rate of breast cancer incidence in the whole of Asia.

According to her, every ninth woman is prone to develop breast cancer in her lifetime; where annually 40,000 women die due to this ailment, and 90,000 new cases are reported. Therefore, educating the masses on this deadly disease is of prime importance.

She said, Pink Ribbon Pakistan is the only organization dedicatedly working on the issue of breast cancer for the last two decades. Pink Ribbon’s mission it to reduce the mortality rate of breast cancer. All around the year, Pink Ribbon reaches out to women and girls to educate them on preventive techniques that focus on healthy lifestyle and wellbeing, in order to decrease their risk of breast cancer.

It may be noted that studies show that adopting preventive techniques can reduce 40% chances of breast cancer occurrence. The journey of Pink Ribbon has been full of challenges as a few years ago, even mentioning the term ‘breast cancer’ was a taboo.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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