PESHAWAR: A Breast Cancer awareness symposium was organized by Khyber Medical University, (KMU) Peshawar in joint collaboration with Shifa International Hospital Islamabad, Public Health Association KP / FATA and Khyber Girls Medical College. Director General Health Services Dr. Ayub Roze was the chief guest of the event where as Principal KGMC Prof. Dr. Noor Wazir, Dr Arif Malik from Shifa International, Dr. Shabina Raza Ex DGHS KP and Dr. Saima Abid President Public Health Association KP also present at the occasion. Distinguished Cancer and Public Health experts spoke at the event.
An MOU was also signed between KMU, Shifa International Hospital and DGHS KP as three partners for organizing Mammography at Shifa International Hospital at subsidized rates for the people of KP province. Director General Health services Dr Ayub Roze, Dr Shabina Raza, Dr. Saima Abid, Dr. Arif Malik vowed to work together for the establishment of Cancer registry and Population based breast screening and control in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in partnership. Other dignitaries who delivered speeches included Dr. Safoora Shahid, Dr. Farrukh and Dr Sameer Fasih. Enthusiastic audience included doctors, nurses, LHvs students and other public.
While talking to the symposium DGHs Dr. Ayub Roze said that breast cancer is a menace and our female population confronting it at large scale across the country in general and at KP in particular. He said breast cancer is reached at the alarming level and every year more than 40 thousand females are dying from this fatal disease. He hoped that the MOU will lead to help curbing and minimizing the ratio of breast cancer in KP.
Talking to the symposium on various aspects, preventions and reasons of breast cancer the experts said that every female is basically at risk if she is obese, have a family history, are above 50 and lead a sedentary lifestyle. The experts informed the audience that family history can increase the risk of developing breast cancer, but it is also observed that most women with breast cancer have no family history. According to recent statistics, 97% of breast cancer cases occur, where there is no family history. A diet that contains a high amount of fat can increase the risk because fat triggers estrogen that fuels tumor growth.
While shedding light on the importance and procedure of self-examination, the experts said that a woman should give herself a thorough breast self-exam at least once in a month. One should look for changes in breast tissues such as change in size, inversion of nipple, redness of the breast skin or any discharge or secretion from the nipple. Moreover, experts listed a checklist for breast cancer care which included: Look and feel your breast so that you know what is normal for you, do this regularly to check for changes and tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice anything. The speakers emphasized the need to promote & spread the knowledge that if detected early breast cancer can be cured and to not make the word ‘breast’ a stigma or taboo. If there is a problem then get it looked at by a proper physician to assess the best course of action.