First Lady Samina Arif Alvi on Monday called upon the media, national and international organisations working in Pakistan to make concerted efforts for raising awareness about early detection of breast cancer, especially among those women living in the far-flung areas of the country.
She said that she had been leading the breast cancer awareness campaign for the last four years, which had started yielding results as the number of women availing diagnosis services had increased significantly.
Begum Samina Alvi made these remarks while chairing a meeting of the national and international organisations working in Pakistan for the prevention and cure of breast cancer at Aiwan-e-Sadr, President Secretariat Press Wing, said a press release.
The meeting was attended by representatives of WHO, UNFPA, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industries, NGO Green Star, Shifa International Hospital, Shaukat Khanum Hospital, Human Resource Development Network (HRDN), Aurat Foundation, Khyber Medical College and Khyber Teaching Hospital Peshawar, Dopasi Foundation, Pakistan Girl Guides Association (PGGA), World Food Programme and Roche Pakistan.
Addressing the meeting, the first lady said that October was observed as breast cancer awareness month worldwide and they all needed to work in coordination for defeating the deadly disease by undertaking awareness activities throughout the year.
She said that Pakistan was one of the countries where the mortality rate, due to breast cancer, was the highest in the region due to the late diagnosis of the disease.
Samina said that communities should be involved to create awareness about the early detection of the disease, adding that screening facilities should also be extended to maximum areas.
She urged the participants to chalk out a comprehensive plan for the entire year to sensitise women about the disease.
It was informed in the meeting that thousands of women were losing their lives to breast cancer every year due to the lack of awareness about its symptoms and late diagnosis.
It was further highlighted that the chances of survival were quite high if a patient with breast cancer was diagnosed in the initial stages.
Representatives of organisations and NGOs briefed the first lady about their activities regarding awareness campaigns and treatment of the disease.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2022.