Healthy lifestyle, body self-examination, and early detection could save millions of lives of Pakistani women facing threat of breast cancer

A healthy lifestyle, balanced diet, self-examination of the body, and early diagnosis are the key factors to protect the lives of millions of adult women in Pakistan from the fatal disease of breast cancer.
The concerned medical practitioners and noted women from different fields highlighted the precautions the female population of the country should adopt against breast cancer at an awareness seminar on the cancerous disease. The National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) organised the awareness session in collaboration with the Arts Council.
In her keynote speech, Dr Ayesha Hasan, Cancer Awareness Medical Officer of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, said that girls should be educated to promptly report to the doctor if there was any anomaly related to their reproductive health or physical well-being for early diagnosis of the women’s cancers.
She lamented that women in the urban areas had long forgotten the importance of a balanced diet for maintaining their health as healthy foods like green leafy vegetables and fish were seldom eaten.
She underlined the importance of adopting the regular practice of self-examination of the body to detect any early signs of breast cancer.
She advised the audience that they shouldn’t ignore any early signs or symptoms of breast cancer as the timely diagnosis of the fatal disease could save many lives.
Dr Hasan said that there were many social myths attached to breast cancer but one shouldn’t subscribe to them as they had no scientific basis as their adoption could delay the proper treatment of the disease.
She said that women after developing the early symptoms of breast cancer shouldn’t hesitate from mammograms as the clinical procedure had no side effects as is as harmless as the x-ray of any body part.
The Shaukat Khanum Trust’s official said that timely mammograms could save many women from breast cancer treatment that is much more costly and painful.
Dr Unaiza Niaz, a senior psychiatrist, suggested that cancer treatment facilities in the country should hire the services of a psychologist for maintaining the emotional and mental health of female cancer patients who had to face enormous stress.
She said that emotional support from the male members of the family of a breast cancer patient would go a long to show courage and keep her morale high to undergo the treatment and defeat the disease.
She said that cancer patients during and after the treatment of the disease should undergo psychiatric evaluation on a regular basis to maintain their mental health against the massive stress caused by the onslaught of the fatal disease.
Prof Zubala Yasir Lufti, a nutrition specialist, informed the audience about healthy dietary practices in daily life, which could ward off the chances of cancerous diseases among women.
Dr Afshan Rubab, Administrator of District South in Karachi, who was also the chief guest on the occasion, said that due preventive health measures should be taken to protect women against breast cancer whose incidences had alarmingly increased in society in the past some years.
She urged the girls and young women to go out and acquire their due place in the parks and other public spaces for jogging, walking, sports, and other healthy recreational activities to maintain their health.
She said the seminars halls, lecture rooms, community centres, and other public spaces available with the District Municipal Administration South were fully available for holding awareness sessions on breast cancer.
Earlier, in her welcome remarks, NFEH Secretary-General Ruqiya Naeem expressed gratitude to the Arts Council Karachi for sparing its premises every year for holding awareness sessions on breast cancer.
She said that her non-governmental organization would continue to organise more such activities to spread mass awareness about fast-spreading diseases, especially among women.
President NFEH M. Naeem Qureshi, Vice President Engr. Nadeem Ashraf, Consultant Medical Practitioner Dr. Saira Bano, Homeopathic Health Practitioner Dr. Yogi Wajahat and others also spoke on this occasion.

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