‘Millions of women at risk of breast cancer in Pakistan’


LAHORE: Millions of women in Pakistan are at risk of getting breast cancer in Pakistan. This was stated by the chief executive of Pink Ribbon, Omer Aftab on Monday.

He stated that the month of October is celebrated as the international month of breast cancer awareness worldwide. This year too, Pakistan’s national awareness campaign, Pink Ribbon, is doing what is needed at various levels, by raising public awareness about the disease, highlighting the role of research into the causes of breast cancer and promoting the significance of early detection of breast cancer in terms of better treatment and survival, he added.

Omer was of the view that such activities are carried out all year round but the month of October is special.

Experts say that the increase in the cases of breast cancer is also because most patients delay in getting help. They consider it against society’s norms to inform others about the disease or delay seeking help due to psychological barriers, he remarked.

Most of such cases, experts believe, can prove fatal. According to Pink Ribbon, having breast cancer in Pakistan carries a stigma with it. Furthermore, due to lack of awareness many women deny their condition and refuse to go for any kind of breast examination.

Omer pointed out that to mark October as PINKtober’, the breast cancer awareness month, Pink Ribbon has launched a nationwide breast cancer awareness drive and also started fundraising for building Pakistan’s first dedicated breast cancer hospital.

The campaign includes reaching out to over 200,000 young girls for breast cancer awareness during October; it has been launched in coordination with the Higher Education Commission.

Pink Ribbon CEO Omer Aftab further said that breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of death.

Thus, there is a need that we pay special focus to prevent this disease, he said and maintained that due to Pink Ribbon’s intensive awareness work over the years, awareness about the disease has risen significantly and a demand for breast cancer services has emerged.

He added that to cater the needs, Pink Ribbon has started the construction of Pakistan’s first dedicated breast cancer hospital and we need ever more support to build this hospital to ensure that none of us will have to bear the horror of losing a mother, a sister, a wife or a daughter.

In October, Pink Ribbon is not only going to spread awareness among young female students, but also will organise various events to sensitise women and girls at the community level through direct interaction.