Begum Samina Alvi, wife of President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday said one in nine women in Pakistan faced the risk of breast cancer and stressed early diagnosis as the best way to recover. Speaking at the breast cancer awareness event held here at Health Services Academy, she said 90,000 to 100,000 women in Pakistan suffered breast cancer every year and expressed concern that the survival rate of the country touched 50 per cent compared to 80 per cent in the developed world.
Begum Alvi pointed out that late diagnosis of breast cancer resulted in an increased mortality rate and also led to high costs of treatment.
She mentioned the breast cancer awareness campaign launched from the platform of the presidency for the last four years, which she said, helped in educating a large number of the population. In this regard, she said programmes through television, radio, newspapers, and social media were conducted for mass awareness about breast cancer.
She said 13 hospitals in Sindh, eight in Punjab, three in Islamabad, five in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and three in Balochistan were providing free-of-cost mammography facilities.
Referring to the estimates by Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital Begum Alvi said, the number of patients suffering from breast cancer doubled in the country. She advised women to practice self-examination every month to rule out any chances of breast cancer.
She said although breast cancer was common in women, however, in a few cases, men with a family history of breast cancer could also suffer from the disease.
According to international research, Dr Usman Qureshi said, a delay of four weeks raised the risk of breast cancer by 10 per cent. He emphasized streamlining the process from the detection of breast cancer to its treatment at a fast pace to prevent further growth of cancer cells.
Head of the Radiology Department and Federal Breast Screening Centre at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences Dr Ayesha Ehsani Majeed said every woman over 40 should visit the doctor for mammography.