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Breast cancer incidence alarming in Pakistan

Updated February 05, 2015

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.—Reuters/File
.—Reuters/File

LAHORE: Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Oncology Lahore (Inmol) Director Dr Abu Baker Shahid has said Pakistan has the highest incidence of breast cancer in southeast Asia.

Addressing a seminar organised by Inmol to mark the World Cancer Day on Wednesday, Dr Shahid said the incidence of breast cancer was 30-40 per cent among women in 40-year age bracket in Pakistan as compare to 10 per cent in the same group in the West.

Also read: Pakistan has highest incidence of breast cancer in Asia

Many medical institutions and organisations observed the day by arranging consultative meetings, dialogues and awareness walks in the provincial capital.

Dr Shahid said breast cancer was second commonest cause of deaths among females as one out of nine women has lifetime risk of the killer disease.

He said Inmol was the largest state-of-the-art institute of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission which had been serving the nation for the last 30 years.

Citing Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and World Health Organization (WHO) reports, he said 47pc of the diagnosed breast cancers cases in Pakistan were already in an advanced stage.

“Annual clinical examination should be performed by a trained health worker after 40 year of age and at least after every three years starting at 20 years”, he said.

He said in the countries where mass screening programmes have been established the mortality rate of breast cancer had decreased by 25-30pc.

Dr Rida Saffdar said currently 8.2 million people die of cancer worldwide every year, out of which 4 million die prematurely between 30 to 69 years of age. She said the World Cancer Day was an ideal opportunity to create maximum awareness about the ailment and precautions.

Shaikh Zayed Hospital chairman Prof Dr Farrukh Iqbal in his lecture suggested healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of cancer.

Meanwhile, addressing the inaugural session of the 7th International Cancer Surgery Conference that started here at the King Edward Medical University, Lahore, on Wednesday, the founding president of Surgical Oncology Society Pakistan (SOS-PK), Prof Muhammad Arshad Cheema said cancer was the second leading cause of death in Pakistan.

“Majority of cancer patients are initially seen and managed by surgeons and surgery alone cures 60pc of cancer patients”, he said.

He said the SOS-PK organised the conference in order to enhance the quality of cancer surgical care in the country. More than 500 cancer surgeons from all over Pakistan are participating in the conference, he said.

Prof Abul Fazal, Prof Zafar Ali Chaudhary, Prof Mahmood Ayyaz, Prof Amir Riaz Bhutta and other senior surgeons also participated in the conference.

Cancer surgeons from UK, US, Spain, Germany, Sweden, France, Korea, India, Bangladesh and Middle East delivered live lectures through video link to the participants of the conference.

To mark the day, a cancer awareness walk was also organised in which a large number of individuals belong to civil society, media also participated.

Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2015

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