KP PHA, IRNUM hold awareness session on breast cancer

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The Public Health Association (PHA) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in collaboration with the Institute of Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine (IRNUM) held an awareness session on the breast cancer early detection initiative of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Sat-urday.

Taimur Khan Jhagra, KP Health and Finance Minis-ter, who was the Chief Guest at the occasion, said the KP government was committed to providing high-quality care to breast cancer patients with test-ing facilities in seven districts. Despite the fact that the World Health Organization Global Breast Can-cer Initiative (GBCI) had set the target to reduce 2% breast cancer-related deaths per year worldwide, Pakistan lacks a breast cancer control programme, he underlined.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the first province to initiate a breast cancer control programme in Pakistan, which was started in 2020, Jhagra said and added the programme envisions the provision of modern mammography machines in seven divisions of KP namely, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Hazara, Kohat, Malakand, Mardan, and Peshawar.

Breast Cancer accounts for approximately 40,000 deaths per year in Pakistan. It is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths among females. The disease also occurs in 1% of the male population. Breast cancer puts a lot of financial burden on fami-lies while affecting them both emotionally and psy-chologically.

Lack of awareness and early detection, besides so-cial barriers and inaccessibility to the health care system, are detrimental to the survival of breast cancer patients.

The speakers emphasised that the majority of the women assume breast cancer would not happen to them, while the stats show that 1 out of 8 women is at risk of suffering from breast cancer in Pakistan. Any woman over 40 years, or having a family his-tory of breast cancer should go for the mammogra-phy test since early detection saves lives, they stressed, adding “switching to healthy eating habits, regular exercise, maintaining a normal weight, and avoiding the use of over-the-counter medication, especially hormonal medicines are suggested by physicians”.

Public Health Association (PHA) KP and FATA which focuses on the provision of public health services and improving health policies launched the campaign for the “Breast Cancer Control Pro-gramme” in the province, which was later joined by Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (IRNUM) and other high profile partners. The event was attended by Secretary Health KP, Amer Sultan Tarin,

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