ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has the highest rate of breast cancer all over Asia due to which every year 40,000 women die. One out of every nine women in Pakistan faces risk of the disease while the prevalence of this deadly ailment is the highest amongst all types of cancer in the country i.e. 38.5 per cent.
This was shared by the speakers at a workshop held here on Monday to inaugurate Pink Ribbon Campaign supported by higher education commission (HEC) and Pakistan atomic energy commission (PAEC) cancer hospital to mark 2012 as 'Pink Ribbon Youth Year' National coordinator, Pink Ribbon, Omer Aftab said that fortunately, breast cancer can be detected and cured at a very early stage.
Therefore, it is important to focus on prevention and diagnoses rather than cure since early diagnosis in breast cancer increases chances of survival to more than 90 per cent, he said. 'The recent trends in Pakistan have shown that the breast cancer incidence is alarmingly high in young girls. On the other hand older women are also reluctant in getting them medically checked on reg-ular intervals. This issue,' he said, 'can be addressed using daughters who are normally closer to the mothers and they can be used as influencers for the older generation. They can motivate their mothers for a regular breast examination and medical check-up,' said Omer.
As many as 25,000 students from 15 colleges and universities of Islamabad and 500,000 youths of nearly 500 educational institutions all over the country will be given awareness about breast cancer this year, he said.
Chairman HEC Dr Javed Laghari assured that HEC will provide assistance and full cooperation during the campaign. Additional secretary, Pakistan Post, Fazal Sattar told that 500,000 postal stamps have been introduced to give awareness regarding the disease.
Assistant Inspector General Motorway police, Dr Farooq assured that as motorway police was already taking part in polio eradication campaign, officials of the force can easily take part in the awareness campaign regarding breast cancer too.
Vice Chancellor Fatima JinnahUniversity, Samina Amin Qadir stressed that female university students can play a vital role in the campaign and they should make their families aware of the dangers of disease.
Head of the learning and innovation department, HEC, Noor Amna Malik while talking to Dawn said that unfortunately it has become a routine that we receive programmes from west and introduce them in the country. 'We should first conduct research on the diseases and after finding the reasons behind them, cure them and only then should launch awareness campaigns.
'Environment, culture and lifestyle of east and west are different due to which methods of cure can also differ. One of the basic reasons of our problem is poor literacy rate. In India, just because of better literacy rate, breast cancer ratio is ten times lesser as compared to Pakistan. So government should pay attention to the education sector,' she said.
Omer Aftab informed Dawn that their teams will start visiting the universities from Tuesday (today) besides starting to organise medical camps.-Ikram Junaidi