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First Lady calls for increasing awareness on breast cancer

ISLAMABAD: First Lady Begum Samina Alvi on Wednesday pointed out the lack of awareness about breast cancer was causing loss of women’s lives in Pakistan and called for enhanced awareness to check the disease.

Highlighting the important role of media, she said television, radio and social media could play a vital role in creating awareness about the disease and its cure through the dissemination of public-service messages.

Samina Alvi expressed these views while participating in a walk organized by the PAF Hospital to create awareness about breast cancer here at the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Complex.

Earlier this week, President Dr Arif Alvi launched a month-long awareness drive on breast cancer calling for the concerted efforts to address the alarmingly increasing ratio of the cases particularly by ending the allied social taboos.

Held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the event was attended by First Lady Samina Alvi, Governor Punjab Chaudhry Sarwar, federal ministers, parliamentarians, diplomats and hundreds of women from cross sections of the society.

The presidency’s building was illuminated with pink lights as part of the drive being supervised by Pink Ribbon Pakistan in collaboration with the partners.

This also coincided with the illumination of nine other buildings located at the Constitution Avenue including the Prime Minister Secretariat, Prime Minister House, Parliament House, Supreme Court of Pakistan, Wafaqi Mohtasib and Federal Board of Revenue.

The president said the increasing ratio of breast cancer cases was a challenge for Pakistan. He told the people that breastfeeding could remarkably reduce the risks of breast cancer which could hit almost 12 million women of the country.

He said women were the major victim of breast cancer. However, as part of the campaign, he said all the women should self examine once in a month and immediately consult the doctor if anyone detects any glandular swelling or tumor and if required, the woman concerned should also undergo mammography.

He viewed that the creation of Naya Pakistan was only possible if the whole society realized their social responsibility particularly for ending the social taboos which also led to the worsening of the disease.

The president particularly stressed the electronic media for using the platform to create awareness on the diseases particularly during the month of October which marked the awareness drive on the disease.

He said the parliamentarians should also be given the relevant awareness material for their onward distribution among the people in their respective constituencies.

First Lady Samina Alvi said the society lacked proper awareness on breast cancer rather unfortunately, some social taboos had been linked with it. She said every year, thousands of women lost their lives due to breast cancer, adding the society could not progress without the role of women.

She said due to early diagnosis, 90 percent cases were successfully cured in other countries against 40 percent in Pakistan. She also urged media to specify their air time to create awareness and hold morning shows on the subject having women as their predominant viewers, adding that the issue could not be addressed properly until it was discussed in the society openly and without any hesitation.

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