Nearly 100,000 women in Pakistan are diagnosed with cancer ever year. Half of them die owing to late diagnosis of the disease and lack of proper treatment, Wapda Hospital Medical Superintendent Muhammad Shoaib said at a seminar on Sunday.
The seminar was organised by the Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) at Wapda Hospital Faisalabad in connection with World Cancer Day (observed around the world on February 4). The seminar was held with the intent to raise awareness about the disease. Deputy MS Tariq Bashir Malik, Medical Specialist Zafar Ghauri and Principal Lady Medical Officer Sumera Bazli also spoke at the seminar.
World Cancer Day: 90% cancers curable if diagnosed in time: expert
Dr Shoaib said there was a 90 per cent chance of recovery if cancer was diagnosed early. He said, “Unfortunately, most patients tend to seek help after the disease has entered later stages.”
The speakers said most of the cancer patients visiting their hospital were women. “Women must be on their guard against this deadly disease,” they said.
On Saturday, scores of medical students and health professions participated in a Cancer Awareness Walk. The event was organised by the Oncology Department of the Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad, and eMed, an international health organisation. The idea was to raise awareness about how people should handle the disease.
They walked from the college’s Admin Block to the Allied Hospital’s Oncology Ward. The students also distributed fruit baskets and gifts among cancer patients at the ward.
The walk was led by Professor Ahmed Bilal, Prof Zafar Hussain Taskeen, Dr Muhammad Khalid, Dr Khurram Raja, Dr Ijaz Hussain Shah, Dr Humaira Arshad, Dr Hooria Amer, Dr Muhammad Naeem, Dr Khawar Nadeem, Dr Saeed Akbar Tariq, Dr Akmal Rasheed and Dr Akhtar Pervez. Scores of medical college students participated in it. EMed also organised a seminar at the Punjab Medical College’s Biochemistry Department on what preventive measures to take in certain cases. Professor Ahmed Bilal, president of eMed and head of the Department of Medicine at the college, addressed the seminar.
Early detection seen as key to beating breast cancer
Oncology Department Head Muhammad Khalid, Dr Ijaz Hussain Shah, the former head of the Oncology Department, and Physiology Department Head Zafar Hussain Taskeen delivered lectures on how to deal with cancer patients.
Dr Khalid said that cancer cases were on the rise in Pakistan primarily because of a lack of awareness about cancer. “If cancer patients are diagnosed in the first stage, chances of survival are more than 90 per cent, but if same cases are diagnosed at the fourth stage, chances of survival drop to 5 per cent,” he said.
Dr Ijaz Hussain Shah said breast cancer was one of the biggest killers in the country. “Late diagnosis is the main reason why such a large number of women die of breast cancer each year.”
Several students affiliated with eMed spoke about their outreach activities and fundraising drives in five schools. They said they would bear the cost of treatment of two cancer patients.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2016.
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