By Our Web Reporter
KARACHI– Leading health experts of the country say that every eighth woman in Pakistan is affected by breast cancer, developed countries are treating this deadly disease up to 80% successfully, while middle income countries are treating breast cancer up to 60%, but Pakistan In a low-income country, only 40% of the disease can be cured, and the main reason for the low rate of recovery is the lack of awareness in our country, they said.
Speaking online from Webinar, at Dow University of Health Sciences, in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the Pink Ribbon Youth Awareness Program, health experts called for prevention and precautionary measures against breast cancer in Pakistan.
Breast cancer is a treatable disease, experts said, adding that timely diagnosis not only makes it possible and easier to treat, but also that breast cancer is spreading rapidly around the world. There are many public health issues in Pakistan. While breast Cancer can be dangerous and deadly.
Head of Breast Cancer Unit Civil Hospital Karachi Prof. Farhat Jalil, Consultant Breast Cancer Surgeon UK Dr. Masooma Zaidi, Cancer Specialist Dr. Asghar Hussain of Kiran Hospital Karachi, Assistant Professor Dow International Medical College Dr. Omaima Saleem also addressed to the webinar, while Consultant Breast Surgeon Aga Khan Hospital Prof. Shaista Masood Khan and Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi Medial Superintendent Prof. Noor Mohammad Soomro performed as a panelist and the duties of moderator and focal person were performed by Asst. Prof. Surgery Dr. Imrana Zulfiqar.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Farhat Jalil said that breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women. In case of breast cancer, it is treated with surgery, chemotherapy or hormonal therapy. Early diagnosis can save the patient from complications. He said that women should undergo monthly self-examination from the age of 20. She also explained the method of self-examination of young women, while mammography should be performed on women above 40 years of age.
If any symptoms of lumps or tumor are felt in the self-examination, a specialist should be consulted immediately. For final diagnosis, the doctor will perform a needle biopsy. She said that needle biopsy or mammography does not harmful for human health. While it is not possible to prevent the disease, early diagnosis can save a patient’s health and life from complication. In women, late diagnosis can sometimes lead to the removal of half of the breast due to complications. More than 40,000 women die of breast cancer each year. She said that the purpose of this webinar was to create awareness especially among young women So that early diagnosis of the disease is possible, she said that the daily life of the patients, family history or personal history supports to increase the disease.
Speaking to Webinar, Assist. Prof. Dr. Omaima Saleem said that 2.1 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the world. She said that in all types of cancer, 15% of deaths due cancer are also related to breast cancer. The incidence of the disease is even higher than in Afghanistan and India, where 23.2 per 100,000 women in Pakistan are infected, compared to 18.4 per cent in Afghanistan and 13.4 per cent in India, she said. She said that early diagnosis of the disease is the best prevention, adding that there are three ways of early diagnosis, screening through mammography, medical examination and clinical examination. She added that patients who are at high risk should be examined every six to twelve months. If such women are over 30 years of age, mammography should be done once a year, while sometimes MRI of breast can be done. She said that ordinary women in Pakistan are afraid of breast cancer, Confidentiality, Financial issues, Permission issues form home, while some women find it a waste of time, painful process, embarrassment, lack of symptoms or lack of information about mammography, she said. She said that a specialist doctor can prevent the complication of the disease by examining the patient properly in time.
Addressing the webinar, Dr. Masooma Zaidi said that surgery for breast cancer has been performed in the world since 1970, but now modern treatments are being used successfully for this disease, with the help of which up to 40 mm lumps can be easily removed.
He also informed about the treatment and prevention in case of complications. He said that screening is more common in UK than in Pakistan. The disease is also found in a large number of women in UK, but due to the common nature of screening. Timely diagnosis and treatment becomes easier, we need women in Pakistan to work on their health awareness.
Speaking to Webinar, Dr. Asghar Hussain, an expert at Kiran Hospital, said that breast cancer is usually treated with chemotherapy and hormonal therapy. Hormonal therapy is a different treatment for patients whose hormonal receptor “ER /PR” if positive, they are given hormonal therapy, in which the patient is given specific drugs, which make the tumor very small and sometimes even disappear. If the tumor is small in size, it can be removed through surgery. “Side effects are less common than chemotherapy,” she said. He said that in the treatment of breast cancer, it is important to control the estrogen level of the patient.
Performing as a specialist on the occasion, Dr. Shaista Masood Khan said that the disease was spreading rapidly in Pakistan and there was a need to spread awareness among the people for early diagnosis so that the complication of the disease could be avoided. She said that we are happy that there is a complete cure for this breast cancer which is most prevalent in women in Pakistan. Various sciences have been set up for this so that it can be treated.
Speaking on the occasion Prof. Noor Mohammad Soomro, medical superintendent, Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital, Karachi, said that women over 40 years of age should get their mammography done. The essence should be after three years. If any family history and risk factor is found, mammography should be done every year. To make timely diagnosis possible, he said that in the light of the directive of Vice Chancellor of Dow University of Health Sciences, Prof. Mohammed Saeed Quraishy, all facilities have been provided for breast cancer patients in Civil Hospital Karachi and the Full support of Sindh government is included, due to which this expensive treatment is possible for any patient without spending any money, the patient can get his treatment only by submitting his CNIC card, 2 photos and sometimes without form. He said that the chances of breast cancer increase with every pregnancy.
Finally, Dr. Fawad Ali Musa, a surgeon, thanked the experts for providing information to the public through Webinar. Later, the questions of the participants were answered.