ISLAMABAD -- First Lady Samina Arif Alvi Wednesday terming as 'alarming' the 50 percent curability rate of breast cancer in Pakistan as compared to 90 percent in developed world said awareness at 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 breast cancer at early stage through self-examination could help avert costly medical treatment.
Samina Alvi said women in Pakistan were playing significant roles in society both at domestic and professional fronts and thus deserved good health as basic pillar of their lives.
She urged women to be vigilant about the initial symptoms and risk factors of breast cancer as thousands lost lives every year due to unawareness.
The First Lady, who was the forefront of the government's campaign of Pink October in connection with awareness about breast cancer, called upon the health professionals, NGOs 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.
CEO Shifa International Hospital Dr Manzoor H Qazi said 90,000 women in Pakistan were diagnosed with breast cancer every year of which 40,000 lost lives, which equates one death every 15 minutes.
Calling it a 'national crisis', he said around 3,000 patients were diagnosed with breast cancer during the current month of October alone.
He said only 6,900 scanning machines were available across the...