Breast Cancer Awareness in Pakistan
Breast Cancer Awareness is the Need of Time
Cancer is a disease in which body cells start abnormal growth or grow out of control. Similarly, in breast cancer cells in the breast grow out of control. Although breast cancer is not gender-biased but it has a higher ratio in females than males. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 17 people die every minute from cancer around the world, making it the second leading cause of death. Cancer grows unnoticed till its symptoms appear. It can only be detected by screening tests which can help in the identification before it spreads to the whole body.
Unfortunately, Pakistan is experiencing a high mortality rate due to no proper access to diagnosis and early screening. Many women die on daily basis from breast cancer due to the lack of awareness or due to the nature of introversion or shyness. According to Prof Dr. Muhammad Saeed Quraishy (TI) Vice-Chancellor, Dow University of Health Sciences: “In our country, about 90,000 women are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer every year, out of which half die due to late diagnosis”.
A gracious way to deal with the high mortality of breast cancer is to focus on screening and early diagnosis which is possible only through public awareness. If it is detected and treated well on time, then the affectees can survive for a long. As Dr. Abu Bakar Shahid, Director and Chief Consultant at INMOL Hospital, Lahore states: “The chances of survival are more than 90 pc if the breast cancer is detected at an early stage”. The earlier doctors detect it, the higher the chance of a cure.
In rural and backward areas men can play a crucial role in the eradication of breast cancer by allowing their wives, sisters, mothers and aunts to have proper doctor examinations. Every man should help them know about this disease. We should de-stigmatize it and should do a breast examination because the breast is just a normal body part like other body parts.
In the end, it is safe to say that we (Pakistanis) can cope with this menace if we break social and cultural taboos and pay visits for proper examination and screening. It is our ethical, social and religious responsibility to inform, motivate and encourage our females and to spread awareness of breast cancer.