Myths and taboos associated with Breast Cancer must need to be shunned in order to get the disease detected early to increase the chances of survival.
But due to society’s coercive practices, at least 70% of Pakistani women suffering from breast cancer seek medical attention at an advanced stage of the fatal ailment. If detected at an early stage, the chances of the survival exceed 90 percent.
For women, there are many reasons to overlook the looming threat to their lives, including less awareness about symptoms of breast cancer, limited access to mammogram facilities, concerns that taking the treatment of the disease will result in atrophied femininity and social stigma linked with the disease. Hence, there is a strong need to have a more open discussion about breast cancer to break the barriers.
Pink Ribbon Pakistan is observing the first week of October as a call for highlighting early detection of Breast Cancer. To serve the purpose, Pink Ribbon stresses that women of age 40 and older should go for a mammogram test once in two years.
Omer Aftab, Chief Executive Officer Pink Ribbon, said, “After our continuous and robust awareness campaigns since 2004 across Pakistan, there has been a 400% increase witnessed among women to take mammogram test for any signs of breast cancer.”
He added that to bridge the gap of insufficient treatment facilities and lack of awareness, Pink Ribbon took the initiative of setting up Pakistan’s first dedicated Breast Cancer Hospital in Lahore where deserving patients will be given free-of-cost treatment. He said that two state-of-the-art 3D digital mammogram machines will be installed at the hospital.
Mr Aftab said the construction of hospital hits snag after the coronavirus pandemic put every sphere of life to a standstill. He urged the philanthropists and citizens to donate generously for the cause.