(CTN News) – In an effort to reduce the risk of breast cancer among Pakistani women, health experts have urged them to take proactive measures.
One in eight women is at risk of breast cancer in the world, but when we focus on South Asia, the situation in Pakistan is particularly alarming,” said Professor Dr Naila Zahid, Head of the Oncology Department at Liaquat National Hospital, during a recent podcast moderated by Aisha Abrar for The Express Tribune.
She expressed concern about the occurrence of breast cancer at increasingly young ages, even in women in their twenties, and identified environmental factors and smoking as possible causes.
As well, she stressed the need for further research to determine whether excessive consumption of chicken may contribute to the problem. It is possible that excessive consumption of broiler chicken may contribute to the disease, although this has not yet been confirmed.
Hafsa Shamsie, Managing Director of Roche Pakistan Ltd, stated that early detection could prevent the malignant disease and reduce the financial burden on families.
In addition to recommending that all women perform a self-examination every month, Prof Naila also advised that women over 40 years of age undergo an annual mammogram. The chances of a successful cure increase significantly when the disease is detected at an early stage, she said.
Shamsie pointed out that early detection can reduce trauma associated with treatment and make it easier to cope with. According to her, Breast Cancer early detection is of the utmost importance.
According to Shamsie, her company is dedicated to improving the health of Pakistani women, sharing Roche’s vision. In her explanation, she highlighted the importance of awareness, screening, diagnosis, and treatment for women. Furthermore, she mentioned that lung cancer is another common disease among Pakistani women.
During her presentation, Professor Naila stressed the importance of acknowledging the reality of the disease. As she pointed out, not only should families support breast cancer patients, but society as a whole should also rally behind them. “This is not a contagious or infectious disease,” she explained.
When discussing treatment facilities, Shamsie noted, “We have highly qualified oncologists and a comprehensive tertiary care system in Pakistan. We have a patient support program.” She noted that Roche covers 50% of these costs through this program.
In addition, she mentioned that the Sehat Card in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa helps alleviate the financial burden of patients. According to her, an individual patient cannot bear the entire financial burden of this disease on their own.
As Shamsie pointed out, widespread awareness is essential, and he suggested that the government handle it effectively, similar to its efforts to combat diseases such as polio and hepatitis.
In addition, she suggested that a public-private partnership is necessary, noting that the government has recently focused greater attention on the health sector in Pakistan. We hope to achieve an ideal situation in which every individual will have access to medical care.”
According to Professor Naila, the best time to examine the breast is immediately following menstruation. Additionally, she emphasized the need for more guidance and support for women living in rural areas.
Furthermore, she stated that spending Rs1,500 on a mammogram is not a significant expense for Breast Cancer women. Mammograms should be scheduled in October, she suggested.
She urged Pakistani women to prioritize their own health, stating that a healthy mother is a healthy woman.