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ABBOTTABAD: The first gynaecological oncology surgery in the history of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was performed at Ayub Teaching Hospital here on Monday.

Dr Bushra Khan, renowned gynaecological oncologist, performed the ovarian cancer surgery free of cost, which is very common, but is expensive to be treated in private hospitals.

Bibi Syed Jan, 77, from Swabi Mera area, was suffering from severe abdominal pain and swelling, and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. There was a massive mass (cyst) on her ovaries.

Besides, she had other medical issues as well.

The surgery was to cost more than half a million rupees in a private setup as this facility was not available in any government hospital.

Due to high cost, her family refused to get surgery but as soon as Bushra Khan, who graduated from Agha Khan Medical Institute, joined the gynaecology department, the family of Bibi Jan was contacted for the surgery.

The mass was removed by performing the lymph nodes dissection surgery and omentectomy. Besides, her appendectomy was done and gallbladder was also removed.

In Pakistan, at present, there are only four gynaecological oncologists and Dr Bushara Khan is one of them. She is the only one performing her duties in the government sector while rest is in the private sector.

Gynaecologic oncology is a specialised field of medicine that focuses on cancers of the female reproductive system, including ovarian, uterine, vaginal, cervical, and vulvar cancers.

Dr Bushra, after the successful surgery, said women in the developing countries like Pakistan tend to die at greater rate than in more developed countries because the disease was generally detected when it was in its advance stages.

She further added that early detection in ovarian cancer was crucial. She advised that such patients must make sure they had a yearly examination by their physician.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2018