‘Serious society response needed on breast cancer’

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Dow University of Health Sciences organized a seminar to promote awareness about breast cancer.

According to DUHS statement issued here on Wednesday, the health experts, speaking at the seminar, mentioned that every single minute in the world, one woman loses her life because of breast cancer. Whereas, every eighth woman in Pakistan was suffering from this deadly disease.

This rate could be reduced only by creating awareness. Breast cancer rate was the highest in our Region. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the world, adding it could be cured if diagnosed early.

DUHS Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof. Nusrat Shah, Principal of Dow Medical College, Prof. Saba Sohail, former medical superintendent of Dr. Ruth K.M. Pfau. Civil Hospital Karachi, Dr. Noor Muhammad Soomro, Dr. Farhat Jalil, Dr. Umaima Saleem, Dr. Saima and others also spoke on the occasion. Prof. Nusrat Shah said that October is actually a month of war against breast cancer, but the weapon of this war is knowledge.

We can win this war by spreading awareness.This was not a women’s war alone, men would have to fight alongside. In our region the decision-makers are men, she added.

She said it was possible to treat this disease in the initial stage. An example of this was her own sister who recovered after the treatment of this disease. She said self-diagnosis was the first method of diagnosing cancer at an early stage.  When something negative was suspected, the patient must go for screening.

She appealed to the doctors to play their role in eradicating the shyness and shame among women about cancer. It has been seen that people from educated families also were avoiding the screening.

Dr. Asghar Ali Asghar from KIRAN Hospital said 4.5 million people had died due to Corona Virus, but one million people die from cancer in a year.The second major cause of death was breast cancer, but in our region, breast cancer was the third leading cause of death because we have infectious diseases as the second leading cause after heart disease.

He said the breast cancer was on the rise here, and by 2040, the rate would become double and triple. Other regions had a lower incidence of breast cancer than our region.He said 25 out of 100,000 people were diagnosed with breast cancer in India. Here, 34 out of 100,000 people were diagnosed with breast cancer.

In the United States, this rate was 20 per million people, adding there were certain measures that could be used to reduce the rate of breast cancer. Women could reduce the risk of breast cancer by 4% by breastfeeding their children for 12 months.

He said exercise, which includes walking six thousand steps, avoiding process meat, consumption of vegetables, fruits; calcium and vitamin D regularly can protect women against breast cancer.

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