50 percent breast cancer curability rate alarming, needs urgent attention: First Lady.

ISLAMABAD -- First Lady Samina Arif Alvi Wednesday said 50 percent curability rate of breast cancer in Pakistan as compared to 90 percent in the developed world was alarming and awareness at the grassroots level was important to address the grave health challenge.

Speaking as chief guest at a breast cancer awareness seminar here at Shifa International Hospital, the First Lady said sensitization of women to diagnose the breast cancer at an early stage through self-examination could help avert costly medical treatment.

Samina Alvi said women in Pakistan were playing significant roles in the society, both at domestic and professional fronts, and thus deserved good health as basic pillar of their lives.

She urged the women to be vigilant about the initial symptoms and risk factors of the breast cancer as thousands lost lives every year due to unawareness.

The First Lady, who was at the forefront of the government's campaign of Pink October in connection with awareness about the breast cancer, called upon the health professionals, non-governmental organizations and general public to continue working on the issue with same spirit beyond the limitation of month.

She asked the private sector hospitals to cooperate with the government in expanding its project of free mammography scans.

Shifa International Hospital Chief Executive Officer Dr Manzoor H Qazi said 90,000 women in Pakistan were diagnosed with the breast cancer every year, of which 40,000 lost lives, which equated one death every 15 minutes.

Calling it a 'national crisis', he said around 3,000 patients were diagnosed with the breast cancer during the current month alone.

He said only 6,900 scanning machines were...

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