Women parliamentarians, media to play role in early awareness and treatment of breast cancer: First Lady

ISLAMABAD, Oct 8 (APP):First Lady Begum Samina Alvi Tuesday has asked the women parliamentarians, MNAs, media and other leading Pakistani celebrities to play their role in sensitizing the women about breast cancer early treatment and awareness to cope with it.

In her exclusive interview in connection of ongoing Breast Cancer Awareness Month, she said open discussion about breast cancer can lead to increase awareness as basic goal is to catch cancer at early stage among Pakistani female.

“We all must stand united to break these social taboos and stigmas in Pakistan, she urged, adding, it may take very long for us to discuss these issues openly and get optimum results”.

She said mass awareness is key to overcoming shame and silence surrounding the breast cancer disease in Pakistan. “Women need to know about the importance of early detection,” she stressed.

Cultural taboos are leading cause in preventing women from seeking breast cancer treatment in Pakistan, she mentioned.

Samina Alvi said women are key players in development of the country and their health was equally important like men.

The first lady said that mammography screening should be introduced at larger scale with minimum prices or at free of cost treatment in private and public hospitals to get rid of this disease where different meeting continue.

She said health and educational institutions were needed to be more focused and should come out with more awareness campaigns and seminars in a country where one in nine women were expected to be treated for invasive breast cancer.

“The government is dedicated towards educating women on health issues to prevent prevailing diseases like breast cancer”, she assured.

First Lady Samina Alvi stressed that breast cancer not only disturbs a woman’s life rather troubles an entire family.

“There’s nothing to be shy about it,” she said, adding, no woman should die of ignorance and negligence in Pakistan and the patient’s family should give full support to women who is fighting with this deadly disease”, she said.

The government, media, youth and organisations should play responsible role creating awareness campaign that this month should be availed as an opportunity to raise awareness, generate funds and provide information on prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

She said Pakistan was in list of the countries wherein the rate of cancer patients was on the rise and the incidence of breast cancer was alarmingly high just due to social taboos and lack of family support.
She said late diagnosis is the major cause of deaths from breast cancer and through prevention and early detection it can be controlled.

However, as part of the campaign, she said all the women should self examine their breasts once in a month and immediately consult the doctor if anyone detects any glandular swelling or tumor.
Samina Alvi said the society lacked proper awareness on breast cancer rather unfortunately, some social taboos had been linked with it.

She said every year, thousands of the women lost their lives due to the breast cancer, adding the society could not progress without the role of healthy women.

She said due to early diagnosis, 90 percent cases were successfully cured in other countries against 40 percent in Pakistan.

She said through various programs, the government is reaching out to every women in far-flung areas in country through MNAs where they are sensitizing women to tell about social taboos and should discuss this matter with their family members as early as possible.

First lady further emphasized educated people and celebrities to sensitize women in rural areas through whatsapp and other social media plate forms to control this rising number of cases in the country.

She said morning show hosts, radio and print media should also play their pro-active role, adding, one month for this campaign is not enough there is dire need to give Pakistani women more awareness almost more than five to six years awareness campaign needed to eliminate this diseases.

She said under the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan PTI government would never compromise on the health of women.

She further encouraged the women to get regular check-ups and build the habit of self-examination to save themselves from the ailment.

“In our culture, cancer means death,” she said, adding but we are trying to tell women that it does not have to be that way. If a woman feels a lump in her breast, and she consults a doctor straight away, it’s likely she will be cured.

We can only stop this disease by educating people about early detection, that it is the best prevention of breast cancer, she added.

A wide number of activities, events and awareness sessions at government level are being organised by the hospitals, she told.

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