Rising number of breast cancer patients in Pakistan is alarming

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Staff Reporter

The Atomic Energy Cancer Hospital (AECH-NORI) held a symposium on Breast Cancer Awareness at the hospital premises today. This was the part of series of activities held at NORI in the month of October. “Keep your head high and your spirits higher”, was the theme of this year awareness campaign at NORI. Entire building of NORI has been illuminated pink from 1st to 31st October 2019. The Nuclear Medicine Oncology and Radiotherapy Institute (NORI) is one of eighteen dedicated cancer hospitals being run under the aegis of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC). It caters to thousands of patients from the twin cities as well as close cities, providing treatment, care and relief to patients.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer and according to statistics; Pakistan has one of the highest rates of breast cancer amongst Asian countries. Dr. Mohammad Faheem Chief Oncologist and Director NORI stressed on the importance of tumor boards in management of cancer patients. He emphasized on rapidly rising trend in cancer burden all over the world in general and Pakistan in particular. Talking about global statistics, he elucidated that the global cancer incidence has risen to 18.1 million new cases in 2018 and is expected to rise to about 29.5 million in 2040. Approximately one half of these cases are estimated to occur in Asia. Dr. Faheem reiterated that there should be dedicated screening clinics in all hospitals for early and timely detection of the disease as in practice at PAEC Cancer Hospitals.
Dr. Humera Mahmood, Head Oncology Department NORI, corrected the wrong figures of new breast cancer patients and said that it is about 11 thousand and not 90 thousand as quoted in many places and social media. She also highlighted the importance of self-examination that can lead to early detection and hence better and timely treatment of the disease. During the event, expert doctors and specialists including Prof Idrees Anwar and Prof Naeem Zia of Rawalpindi Medical University also delivered lectures highlighting the recent trends in management of Breast Cancer. Eminent Breast Surgeons of twin cities including Prof Rakshanda Rashid, Dr. Shabana Jamal and Dr Ahsan Mirza also participated in symposium and shared their experiences.

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