LAHORE: First Lady Samina Alvi said that awareness about breast cancer and its timely diagnosis were highly important to minimise the harm from this disease. She said this at the inaugural ceremony of Genetic Screening Centre of breast and ovarian cancer at Lahore General Hospital on Monday.
Mrs Alvi said that genetic screening facility would help in getting high quality screening for women in the country and ultimately enable timely diagnosis of this cancer. “There is a dire need of getting mammograms done, but affordability is not possible for all sections in a developing country. Therefore, it is necessary for all women to carry out self-examination on monthly basis as it is vital for early detection of the disease”, she added. Samina Alvi said, “We have started breast cancer awareness campaign for the last four years and it has really helped in creating awareness.” All tools including helplines, mobile applications etc should be used to spread the awareness about breast cancer, she maintained.
She said the data of Shaukat Khanum Hospital showed that breast cancer patients at first and second stage visited the hospital in a large number. She urged the male members to take women of their family to hospital if they talk about any sign related to breast cancer. She said that efforts were also being made for the betterment of differently abled persons. However, she said there was a need to focus on mental health as it was most important aspect when it comes to facing any challenge. Samina Alvi said there were 13 hospitals in Karachi, which were offering free treatment of breast cancer, around 8 in Punjab, 3 in Islamabad and 5 in Kyber Pakhtunkhwa.
She further said that collective efforts were required to control the spread of this disease and to reduce mortality rate, which was around 50 percent. She said the awareness campaigns were being conducted in all major cities of the country, adding that screening and awareness activities were facilitating people of Wana and other far-flung areas also.
Principal Postgraduate Medical Institute/Ameer ud Din Medical Institute, Lahore General Hospital Prof Dr Sardar Al-freed Zafar and Prof Dr Ayesha Shaukat, Prof Ghazala and others also spoke on the occasion. Dr Al-freed Zafar also presented a shield to the First Lady.