Breast cancer will affect at least 2.3 million women globally in 2020, with 685 000 fatalities (WHO, 2021). Approximately 36,000 breast cancer cases were detected in Pakistan at the same period, with 13 000 women dying as a result, leaving a trail of the tragic narrative for the rest of the family. As a result, governments, hospitals, NGOs, and societies must continue to raise awareness and encourage women to seek treatment, if necessary, at a reasonable cost that is accessible to the poor. It is commendable that throughout October, all mobile networks send out a vital message, which is a well-recognized contribution to disseminating the Pink Oct message.
Breast cancer is by far the most frequent cancer among women globally, according to a WHO survey, and this is true in both industrialised and developing nations. “At this time, additional study into the reasons of rising breast cancer is required, although early discovery of the disease remains the cornerstone of its control.”
Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), which began in the United States in 1985 and is now an annual international health campaign organised by major breast cancer charities every October, has grown in popularity. Its goal is to promote illness awareness and funding for research into the disease’s aetiology, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation was created in 1993, and the Pink Ribbon became its symbol.
Pink October messages growing in Pakistan and various events were organised this month, including seminars, walks and pink illumination of landmark buildings. The real credit goes to NGOs, hospitals and private sectors, and even the Pakistan government is officially taking part on a big scale to promote awareness.
President Dr Arif Alvi underlined the need to raise awareness among women about breast cancer, its early detection and treatment to save precious lives. He regretted that due to lack of education and awareness, the breast cancer mortality rate in Pakistan was almost 50 per cent, which was quite alarming. The President rightly urged the female doctors should hold regular sessions in women colleges and universities regarding breast cancer to create awareness about the disease. He insisted on establishing a registry at central and provincial levels to collect data about breast cancer cases.
Pakistani businesses have also joined the annual October drive to Think Pink with increasingly innovative ways. Telenor has announced to set up Pakistan’s first breast cancer hospital and had started fundraising. We hope people respond with generosity and other organisations follow the path and set hospitals in each big city.
As the world observes October as the Breast Cancer Awareness month globally, Pakistani telecom company Ufone plays its part in drawing attention towards the urgency of early detection and treatment of this disease by lighting up ‘Ufone Tower’ in bright pink colours, which is a landmark building in the heart of Islamabad. This initiative was taken to create awareness of breast cancer and check the spread of the disease amongst women in Pakistan.
Early diagnosis dramatically improves the chances of a cure. Treatment typically involves surgery to remove the breast’s faulty tissue, and other expensive treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, may be recommended. We pray to Almighty Allah to save all women from this illness, but we should also highlight awareness the entire year, not limited to October.