Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign at the Aga Khan University Hospital
November 14, 2016
With approximately 40,000 new cases every year, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Pakistan. There has been an alarming increase in the incidence of breast cancer and it was responsible for 30.8 per cent of all cancer deaths among women in Pakistan .
The number of deaths can be reduced significantly with early detection and treatment, emphasized experts at the Aga Khan University Hospital, at a series of events organised in October 2016 to mark the Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The dual purpose of the Breast Cancer Campaign was:
To raise awareness of risk factors and early detection strategies for breast cancer, in order to reduce the mortality rate among Pakistan women.
To raise funds and donations for needy patients who visit the Aga Khan University Hospital.
Activities of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month included marking Pink Friday by wearing pink clothes or accessories, organizing awareness sessions at AKUH as well as at educational and corporate institutions in the city and developing educational material for distribution. In a partnership with the designer Sana Safinaz, a series of videos was developed to spread the message of hope through social media.
AKUH’s CEO Hans Kedzierski dressed in pink at a "Walk with us in Pink" organised at the University's Sports and Rehabilitation Centre on October 28, to show solidarity with breast cancer patients and survivors.
“We at AKUH have successfully established a breast cancer team, a multidisciplinary group of specialists, that offers comprehensive care under one roof – an advantage for our patients,” he said.
“Women diagnosed with breast cancer can live healthy lives given the disease is diagnosed and treated timely. Treatment for early breast cancer usually involves surgery only, or some combination of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. AKUH’s Patient Welfare Programme and Patients’ Behbud Society for AKUH provide financial assistance to women who are fighting breast cancer and need support," says Dr Shaista Khan, a professor of surgery at AKU.
While sharing her experiences, a survivor commented, “I am a proud mother, a wife and a breast cancer survivor. I am here to support those who are fighting the disease. Activities like this are always inspirational”.